Open 2014: Ross Fisher takes up reserve place at Hoylake

Ross Fisher
First led the Open going into the final day at Turnberry in 2009

England's Ross Fisher has been included in the field for the Open at Royal Liverpool next week as a late replacement following the withdrawal of injured 1998 champion Mark O'Meara.

Fisher had been named as first reserve, based on his world ranking of 90.

But the 33-year-old from Surrey will now tee off at Hoylake as a result of 57-year-old O'Meara's elbow injury.

The inclusion of Fisher increases the tally of Englishmen in the field on the Wirral peninsula to 18.

Ascot-born Fisher, who challenged strongly at Turnberry in 2009, when he led going into the final day just as his wife was going into labour, will be playing in his seventh Open.

O'Meara become the first player since Ben Hogan to win two majors in one year in his forties when he won both the Masters and the Open, at Royal Birkdale in 1998.

His agent, Peter Malik, advised the R&A via e-mail that, as O'Meara's elbow has been hurting on and off since the Masters in April, he had another MRI scan last week and doctors recommended rest.

He was concerned that the firmer turf of a links course at Royal Liverpool could do more damage, so O'Meara has decided instead to play the US Senior Open this week at Oak Tree in Oklahoma.

With Fisher added to the list of competitors, David Hearn of Canada and American Daniel Summerhays are now the next two alternates, should any more players pull out between now and next Thursday when the 143rd Championship tees off.

The final four places in the 156-strong field will be decided this weekend.

The top three players who are not already exempt that finish in the top 10 and ties at the Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen, along with one non-exempt player from the John Deere Classic Classic in Illinois, will complete this year's altered qualification process for golf's oldest major championship.

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