Paul Casey’s season continued its downward spiral with his withdrawal from this week's US Open in San Francisco. Casey’s shoulder is not fully recovered from his snowboarding accident in January. Though he hopes to return later this month, the setback further reduces his chances of making the Ryder Cup team in Chicago in September.
"You're always disappointed to miss time due to injury, but it's especially true when you have to withdraw from the US Open," Casey said. "I've been trying to play my way back and I feel like I probably came back too soon originally. It's affecting my ability to be ready for the test of a major. I do feel like I'm very nearly ready, but not quite ready for this week."
Casey’s place goes to the youngest US Open entrant since the Second World War, Andy Zhang, a 14-year-old born in China based in Florida.
Robert Rock knows all about a last minute entry into this event. He made his debut a year ago after arriving at Congressional only on the morning of the tournament following a visa hiccup. Despite never having walked the course let alone played it Rock made the cut en route to 23rd.
Rock continues to grow in stature, and following his win in Abu Dhabi in January, eclipsing Tiger Woods on the final day, believes he is capable of an even better finish this year. "I am pleased with my game but I am trying to maintain a standard for the next 10 years or so.
"If I can put on some distance off the tee over the next couple of years it might keep me out here for a bit longer. The win in Abu Dhabi was extra special because of the people competing. Tiger is back to form, Rory [McIlroy] became World No.1 shortly afterwards and Luke Donald was playing too. If I finish above those three this week I will be disappointed if I am not winning.”