Olazabal pulls out of Open qualifer

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The Independent Online

Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal has withdrawn from the Open Championship final qualifying competition at Littlestone in Kent tomorrow.

The 45-year-old, who has battled with arthritic pains for over 15 years, has also pulled out of the French Open starting on Thursday, but is still in the field for next week's Scottish Open.

His only way to play at Sandwich now would be to finish in the top five at Castle Stuart near Inverness.

Former US Open champion Michael Campbell is among 288 players competing over 36 holes for just 12 Open places over four courses.

He plays at Prince's alongside South African Hennie Otto, who was the first-day leader at Royal St George's in 2003 and went on to finish 10th, and 1993 Ryder Cup player Joakim Haeggman.

Fellow Swede Jarmo Sandelin, part of the 1999 European side, is at Rye, while 1991 cup player Paul Broadhurst is at Royal Cinque Ports.