Sport Grace and Sabbatini added to the 2020 US Open...

Grace and Sabbatini added to the 2020 US Open field

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Branden Grace and Rory Sabbatini have replaced Scottie Scheffler and Sam Horsfield in the field for this week’s US Open. 

Scheffler and Horsfield were withdrawn from the field for the year’s second Major at Winged Foot Golf Club after the duo tested positive for COVID-19.

Grace and Sabbatini added to field

The 24-year-old Horsfield returned a negative test last Thursday, but tested positive after arriving in New York which forced him out of the second major of the year which will get underway on 17 September.

“It goes without saying that I am hugely disappointed to not have the opportunity to play in my fourth US Open but clearly the safety of the tournament and other players is paramount,” Horsfield, who competed in the 2015, 2016 and 2019 editions, wrote on Twitter.

Horsfield won the Hero Open and Celtic Classic, two of the six tournaments on the European Tour’s UK Swing, to rise to No. 81 in the world and qualify for the US Open.

“Sam had an excellent year… We are disappointed to lose a player of his calibre from the US Open field,” said USGA senior managing director John Bodenhamer.

Horsfield, the second golfer to test positive ahead of the US Open after PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Sheffler, will be replaced in the field by South African-born Sabbatini who now plays under the flag of Slovakia.

Grace replaced Sheffler on Monday with Sabbatini added to the field on Tuesday.

US Open pedigree

Grace will make his eighth US Open start on Thursday. Grace rose on the US Open scene in 2015 at Chambers Bay (T-4) and continued his fine play the following year at Oakmont (T-5). 

He also finished third in the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits and tied for fourth in 2016 at Baltusrol Golf Club. The South African then won for the first time on US soil in April 2016 at the RBC Heritage. 

Nine of his 13 professional victories have come on the European Tour; his last coming in the 2020 South African Open, an event co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour. Grace represented the International Team in the 2013, 2015 and 2017 Presidents Cups. During the third round of The Open Championship in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, he became the first player to ever shoot a 62 in a major championship.

Sabbatini will make his 13th US Open start as a last-minute alternate by virtue of his place in the Official World Golf Ranking. 

Since turning professional in 1998 after playing collegiately at the University of Arizona, Sabbatini has registered six PGA Tour victories, the last coming in the 2011 Honda Classic. 

His lone top-10 finish in a major came when he shared runner-up honours in the 2007 Masters. Last year, Sabbatini tied for 43rd at Pebble Beach. He also represented the International Team in the 2007 Presidents Cup.

The other six South Africans in the US Open field

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