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Next week’s U.S. Senior Open at Inverness Club will be missing a fan favorite, as the popular Fred Couples withdrew his name from the participant’s list Friday, citing a back injury that has kept him out of competition much of the summer.
Couples, winner of the 1992 Masters, missed May’s Senior PGA Championship because of his back problem.
He hasn’t entered a competition since early June when he failed to make the cut at the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio.
“I am sorry to have to withdraw from the U.S. Senior Open,” Couples said in a statement. “I had hoped to return to play at Inverness, but I have been injured since the Senior PGA Championship, and I am still in the rehab process. Currently, I would not be properly prepared for the four days of competition at a U.S. Senior Open, but I know there will be a great field and I’m sure there will be some spectacular golf.”
Also pulling out of the tournament yesterday were 2002 U.S. Senior Open champion Dan Pooley, who cited back issues, and Mike Reid (fatigue).
Earlier this month, golf legend Tom Watson announced he will not be coming to Toledo next week because he had already committed to playing in a PGA event in West Virginia.
Replacing Couples in the field will be Rob Wilkin, of Lenexa, Kan. Other alternates who received an invitation Friday were Ronnie Black, Bob Affelder and Tommy Brannen.