Thumbs Down: AK and Toms Out of the Open
By Stephanie Wei under British Open

Davis Love III and Ricky Barnes have something to smile about on this roasting hot (at least in NYC it’s 100 degrees!) Tuesday. Thanks to withdrawals by David Toms and Anthony Kim due to injuries, the R&A has added Barnes and Love, the first and second alternates, respectively, to the British Open (excuse me, I mean, the Open Championship) field.

And Love’s streak of playing in 23 straight Open Championships will stay alive. This will be his 24th consecutive appearance. At Pebble Beach a few weeks ago, he was speaking to a group of reporters on the topic. For the few minutes I dropped in to hear the conversation, I kept hearing him say, “I just want to get into the British.”

It’s no surprise AK pulled out, but he hadn’t made it official until now. AK is still recovering from surgery for a thumb injury in May, and he plans to return the week after at the Canadian Open. Meanwhile, Toms withdrew to rest a sore right shoulder. Since the spring, he’s been struggling with a bone spur in his rotator cuff, and he’s been trying to cope without surgery.

By all accounts, AK is recuperating nicely — ahead of schedule, in fact — and he’s been practicing again (in between his party schedule probably.) Let’s hope the older Toms recoups just as nicely. But for now, we’ll see Love and Barnes, who has been one of the most consistent competitors lately, next week at St. Andrews.