Kim sacrifices St Andrews for Ryder Cup
Anthony Kim, third in the Masters in April and third in the current United States Ryder Cup table, is out of next week's Open Championship.
Former US PGA champion David Toms is also out. Heading for St Andrews instead will be their fellow Americans Ricky Barnes and Davis Love.
Kim, the world number 11, has not played since the start of May, when he went in for surgery on a thumb injury and was told he could expect to be out of action for 10 to 12 weeks. That was nine weeks ago.
The 25-year-old played on for a while earlier this season knowing he had a torn ligament the past few months, but said: “Compensating for it was starting to cause other issues, including a sore shoulder.”
Kim's top priority is to regain fitness for the Ryder Cup. He was a star of their victory two years ago, thrashing Sergio Garcia in the top singles.
Toms has played the last four weeks in the States, but has been battling with a shoulder injury for months. Barnes and Love come in as the highest non-exempt players on the world rankings — they are 64th and 68th respectively — having missed out by two and five strokes at the qualifying event in Texas in May.
Love's reprieve means the 46-year-old will extend a run of playing every Open Championship since his debut in 1987. His best finishes were fourth at Sandwich in 2003 and fifth at Royal Troon the following year, and he was sixth in the US Open at Pebble Beach only three weeks ago.
The winner of next week's Open will receive £850,000 — an increase of £100,000 on the amount Stewart Cink took home from Turnberry last summer.
The total purse goes up to £4.8million, up £600,000.
It is the first increase in the money since 2006, when Tiger Woods won £720,000 at Hoylake.