15 Jul 2011

Moped crash forces golfer to withdraw

5:58 am on 15 July 2011

The Belgian golfer Nicolas Colsaerts, who picked up his first European Tour win at the China Open in April, was forced to withdraw from the British Open on Thursday because of an elbow injury sustained in a fall from a motor scooter earlier this week.

The 28-year-old was replaced by American Ricky Barnes, who finished joint second in the 2009 U.S. Open.

Colsaerts crashed a rented scooter into a kerb in Sandwich on Tuesday but was hoping intensive physio and a course of anti-inflammatory drugs would enable him to tee off on Friday.

He left his decision as late as possible before informing organisers he would be unable to take up his tee time.

Barnes, who was eighth reserve a little over a week ago, benefited from the withdrawals of Tiger Woods, Thomas Levet, Tim Clark, David Toms and Vijay Singh as Brendan Jones and Scott Verplank took themselves off the reserves list.

Barnes will no doubt hope to match the performance of original sixth reserve Thomas Bjorn, who took full advantage of his late entry by carding a five-under par 65 for the early clubhouse lead on Friday.