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Golf notebook: Oosthuizen out two-plus months

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--Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa, who captured the 2010 Open Championship at St. Andrews but has been hampered by injuries since, will miss at least two months because of lingering neck, back and hip ailments.

Oosthuizen, who nearly captured a second major title before losing in a playoff to Bubba Watson in the Masters last year, pulled out of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, and he also will miss the PGA Championship this week and the PGA Tour playoffs for the FedEx Cup.

"It's obviously very disappointing to miss out on playing in such prestigious tournaments," Oosthuizen said in a statement released through by his management company, ISM. "But these are injuries that I have been managing for most of the season. It is important that I now give myself the proper time to recover."

Oosthuizen withdrew because of the injuries after starting the HP Byron Nelson and the U.S. Open at Merion, and he pulled out before the start of the Open Championship at Muirfield.

He ranks 26th in the European Tour's Race to Dubai, and he hopes to return at the Dunhill Links Championship at St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns late in late September.

Oosthuizen rose to No. 4 in the World Golf Rankings by winning the Volvo Golf Champions in Dubai early this season, but he has since slipped to No. 12 by recording only two top-10 finishes in his past 14 starts.

--Tom Watson, the United States Ryder Cup captain for the matches next year at Gleneagles Resort in Scotland, was so disappointed in his play in his two most recent majors that he indicated that the end of his competitive career might be near.

Watson, 63 shot 75-78--153 to miss the cut in the Open Championship at Muirfield and tied for 36th in the Senior Open Championship, failing to break 70 in any of his four rounds at Royal Birkdale.

"I don't know how many more years I'm going to play as far as my career is concerned," Watson told the Daily Record in Scotland. "I'm starting to see the end of it.

"I'll be back next year, sure. I'll be at the Open in Hoylake and play the Senior Open at Royal Porthcawl. But I don't know how many more years after that. I'm 63 and I'm starting to feel it. The length is going in my game.

"I still have the ability to compete, but I have to be playing on a links course like the Open that takes the driver out of the kids' hands. Augusta is different. I can't hit it far enough off the tee to allow me to compete, so my years are numbered there."

Watson has won 70 titles in his career, including 39 on the PGA Tour. He has claimed six majors on the Champions Tour after winning eight, including five Open Championships, on the PGA Tour.

However, his Open Championship exemption runs out next year at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England.

Watson almost became the oldest major champion in history at 59 when he took a one-stroke lead to the final hole in the 2009 Open Championship at Turnberry, but he made a bogey and eventually lost in a playoff to Stewart Cink.

--Y.E. Yang of South Korea has been selected captain of the Asian team for the Royal Trophy matches against a European team that will be captained by Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain.

The Royal Trophy will be played for the seventh time from Dec. 20-22 at Dragon Lake Golf Club in Guangzhou, China.

"I am truly honored to undertake the leadership role of Asian team captain for the next edition of the Royal Trophy," said Yang, who became the first Asian male to capture a major title when he took down Tiger Woods in the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine.

"I am committed to building a very strong team for our continent's defense of the Royal Trophy. I will do my utmost to retain stewardship of the trophy in Asia and look forward to the matches with great excitement and anticipation."

Yang replaces Joe Ozaki of Japan, who led Asia in five of the six previous editions of the eight-man event.

Europe leads the series 4-2, but Asian won last year in a playoff with clutch play by Yang and Kim Kyung-tae, also of South Korea, after the teams finished regulation play tied, 8-8, at Empire Hotel and Country Club in Jerudong, Brunei.

Olazabal will lead the European team for the second consecutive year and the third time overall.

--The Olympic Club in San Francisco has been selected as the site of the first U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship next year, with Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore., set to host the inaugural U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball Championship, the United States Golf Association announced.

Founded in 1860, the Olympic Club is the oldest athletic club in the United States, and the four-ball competition will be the 10th USGA championship Olympic has hosted, including the U.S. Open won by Webb Simpson last year.

Bandon Dunes will be hosting its fifth USGA championship.

"When we set forth to identify those sites for these new USGA national championships, it was our goal primarily to create a wow factor when announcing these sites and conducting these inaugural championships," said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director.

It's the first time since the State Team Championships in 1995 that the USGA has introduced a new championship.

The introduction of the four-ball championships, while widely applauded, also created something of a controversy because it means the demise of the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, which dates to 1922, and the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links.

"This could be possibly the most popular tournament for amateurs in the country," Johnny Miller, a two-time major champion and longtime NBC golf analyst who played at Olympic Club growing up, said of the four-ball events. "There are going to be people coming out of the woodwork. Me being the guy who's talked about the choke factor probably more than anyone in history, there's a lot of guys who just won't tee it up.

"All of a sudden, in this kind of format, you're going to have guys who before didn't want to put their reputation on the line or whatever, they're going to be able to sort of hide with their partner psychologically and maybe play some great golf."

The USGA also announced that Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., will be the site of the men's four-ball tournament in 2016, while the women will play at newly-designed Streamsong Resort near Tampa, Fla.

--The 2015 Ricoh Women's British Open will be contested at Turnberry Resort on the Firth of Clyde in South Ayrshire, Scotland, only the second time the event has been held on the famed Ailsa Course, tournament officials announced at St. Andrews.

Karrie Webb of Australia captured the title in 2002 at Turnberry, completing the LPGA Tour "Super Slam" by winning her fifth different major title.

"I am really pleased to hear that the Ricoh Women's British Open will be returning to Turnberry," said the 38-year-old Webb, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame who has claimed seven major victories among her 54 professional titles.

"I have wonderful memories of winning the 2002 Championship, and I can't wait to return in 2015. Turnberry is one of the best courses I have played, so I hope I can continue on from where I left off in 2002."

Turnberry has been home to the Open Championship four times, including 1977, when Tom Watson won the famed "Duel in the Sun" over Jack Nicklaus.

Watson came up short against Cink at the same site 32 years later.

Stacy Lewis won the Ricoh Women's British Open last week on the Old Course at St Andrews, and the tournament will be played at Royal Birkdale in Southport, England, next year.

--Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon, Korea, has been selected as the host course for The Presidents Cup matches in 2015, the first time the event will be held in Asia.

The club, located 40 miles west of Seoul in the country's largest economic development zone, celebrated its opening in September 2010 with the Songdo Championship, an official event on the Champions Tour.

The 2012 Korea Women's Open, an event on the KLPGA Tour, was held at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea last year.

"We have always felt strongly about JNGC Korea as a host venue because of its location in the Songdo International Business District, its proximity to the Incheon International Airport, the quality hotels nearby, and the club's proximity to a large population area," said Nicklaus, who was captain of the United States team four times in the Presidents Cup.

"The facility itself also makes for an ideal location to host The Presidents Cup. We're very pleased that the PGA Tour felt the same after evaluating its options throughout Korea."

The United States leads the International team, 7-1-1, in the Presidents Cup heading into the matches in October at Muirfield Village, Nicklaus' club in Dublin, Ohio.
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