Skip to main content

U.S. Open champion Simpson to skip British Open; Mickelson improves with 64

July 13, 2012 -- Updated 2116 GMT (0516 HKT)
Webb Simpson holds his championship trophy after winning the 112th U.S. Open but will not be at the British Open.
Webb Simpson holds his championship trophy after winning the 112th U.S. Open but will not be at the British Open.
  • U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson out of British Open
  • Simpson's wife in due to give birth later this month
  • Phil Mickelson shoots eight-under-par 64 at Scottish Open
  • Alexander Noren and Francesco Molinari joint leaders at Castle Stuart

(CNN) -- U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson pulled out this year's British Open Friday because his wife is due to give birth later this month.

Simpson was set to fly in next week to the third major of the season at Royal Lytham and St Annes from July 19-22 but has decided against making the trip.

A statement issued by tournament organizers said: "Webb Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open Champion, has withdrawn from The Open Championship due to family reasons."

A number of leading contenders have been tuning up for Lytham at this week's Scottish Open and there was a welcome return to form for four-time major champion Phil Mickelson.

Beau Hossler making strides in golf

Mickelson holed his second shot for an eagle two at his opening hole at Castle Stuart and backed it up with six birdies for a second round eight-under 64.

The American had opened with a disappointing 73 at the links course in Inverness but on seven-under 137 at halfway is handily placed for a weekend charge.

"There was big difference today compared to my 73 yesterday as I just hit a lot better shots, struck it solidly and made a few more putts," he told he official European Tour website.

"I have only played three tournaments the last couple of months so I knew I just needed to play more, and I'm glad I added this tournament."

I have only played three tournaments the last couple of months so I knew I just needed to play more
Phil Mickelson

Mickelson finished joint runner-up to Darren Clarke at last year's British Open and his last victory came at February's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am where he finished with a 64.

He trails joint leaders Alexander Noren of Sweden and Italian Francesco Molinari by five shots.

Molinari had led after the opening round with a superb 62 but came back to the field with second round 70.

Defending champion and world number one Luke Donald stayed in contention on nine-under after a 68, seeking his second win in his last three starts on the European Tour.

Part of complete coverage on
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 1547 GMT (2347 HKT)
If golf has a reputation for being a bit stuffy, then the Bryan brothers and their trick shots are a much-needed blast of fresh air.
December 11, 2014 -- Updated 1318 GMT (2118 HKT)
Not many people make the leap from teenage market trader to golf pro and fashion entrepreneur, but that's just what Ian Poulter has done.
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 1129 GMT (1929 HKT)
"Sleep, as far as mental and physical recovery goes, has never been more important ..." says sport sleep coach Nick Littlehales.
November 4, 2014 -- Updated 1024 GMT (1824 HKT)
Joe Miller is devouring his second steak of the day and the clock has barely nudged 2pm. You need lots of fuel to smash a drive 474 yards.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1449 GMT (2249 HKT)
There have been many dark days for Oliver Wilson, but golf's unluckiest loser is finally riding an upward swing of his career roller coaster.
October 7, 2014 -- Updated 1648 GMT (0048 HKT)
They dress like it's the 1930s and they swing antique equipment that eschews cutting-edge technology -- this is hickory golf.
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 1609 GMT (0009 HKT)
CNN's Living Golf focuses on women's golf, charting the growth of the sport from royal pastime to multi-million dollar machine.
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 0846 GMT (1646 HKT)
"I don't know how to paint happy," says golf's poster girl Michelle Wie. "I think it releases a lot of the darker feelings in me."
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 1213 GMT (2013 HKT)
Phil Mickelson of the United States talks during a press conference after the United States were defeated by Europe after the Singles Matches of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles Hotel on September 28, 2014 in Auchterarder, Scotland.
If you're a U.S. golf fan, or Tom Watson, look away now.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
A ban on uploading social media pictures from the course at Gleneagles was dropped for the Ryder Cup.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 1052 GMT (1852 HKT)
A spot of shopping, the odd spa day and some serious flag waving. Welcome to the life of a Ryder Cup WAG.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1301 GMT (2101 HKT)
Tom Watson has learned plenty in the 21 years since he was last U.S. Ryder Cup captain, but social media is proving to be problematic.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1243 GMT (2043 HKT)
Patriotism will reach fever pitch when the USA and Europe collide in golf's Ryder Cup ... and it looks like Rickie Fowler has let it go to his head.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
Pressure is inescapable in the cauldron of Ryder Cup competition -- pressure and ping pong.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)
Millions of golf fans were watching on television with great anticipation. All Martin Kaymer could think about was getting his phone out.