Hideki Matsuyama

Masters champion, Hideki Matsuyama has announced his withdrawal from The Open at Royal St George’s after his recent COVID-19 diagnosis.

The Japanese golfer said on Sunday that he had been unable to practice properly in time for the year’s final major.

Matsuyama tested positive for coronavirus during the Rocket Mortgage Classic last week.

He remains symptom-free but was still recording positive tests in the initial period of his self-isolation, denying him the opportunity to prepare for the final major of the year.

“I’m feeling fine but haven’t been able to practise in preparation for The Open,” Matsuyama said in a statement.

“Combining that with the difficult travel to the UK, my team and I have decided it’s best to withdraw to ensure everyone’s safety.

“I feel bad, missing The Open, and look forward to playing again at St Andrew’s next year.

“I’d like to thank the many golf fans for their continued concern and support as I strive to return to the game I love as soon as possible.”