Price, Couples pull out

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The Independent Online
Nick Price and Fred Couples, two of the top seven players in the world, have both withdrawn from this week's US Open at Oakland Hills, Michigan.

Price, a Zimbabwean, has still not recovered from the sinus trouble which kept him out of the Kemper Open last month and last week's Buick Classic, while Couples has suffered a recurrence of the back trouble which has disrupted his career.

Their absence is bound to improve the chances of the British players Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie. Price, No 4 in the world rankings, won both the Open and US PGA titles in 1994, while Couples, the No 7 pushed Montgomerie into second place in the Players' Championship in Florida in March.

Couples has had to miss both the Masters and the Open in the past because of his back and took two months off last season.

Buick Classic final scores, US Open tee-off times,

Sporting Digest, page 20