ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Justin Rose withdrew Thursday, prior to the start of his first round in the 150th Open Championship, citing a back injury.
"On the 4th hole yesterday during my practice round, I made a swing with my driver and started to feel pain in my lower back. I’ve been getting around the clock treatment but it just doesn’t feel ready to compete in this prestigious championship," Rose stated in a tweet.
He was replaced in the field by Japan’s Rikuya Hoshino.
Sweden’s Alex Noren was the first alternate and was reportedly on site earlier in the week, after tying for 30th in last week's Scottish Open. Noren, however, left for Nevada to compete in the PGA Tour’s opposite-field event, the Barracuda Championship, opening up the opportunity for Hoshino.
Hoshino went out at 8:14 a.m. local time with Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari. This will be his seventh major championship appearance. Aaron Rai is now the first alternate.
Update, 5:47 a.m. ET: Rai made the field when Erik Van Rooyen withdrew because of a neck injury.