Darren Clarke out of U.S. Open

June 9, 2005 at 1:27 PM

LONDON, June 9 (UPI) -- Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland withdrew Thursday from the upcoming U.S. Open golf tournament to remain at home with his wife, who is battling cancer.

"It is more important for me to be here with my family," said Clarke. "(There) are more important issues to be dealt with at the moment than swinging a golf club."

Clarke's wife, Heather, checked into a hospital last month during the BMW Championship and her husband has not competed since.

Clarke, ranked No. 15 in the world, is being replaced in the 156-player field by Conrad Ray, who is the golf coach at Stanford University and finished as the first alternate at this week's sectional qualifying event at Tarzana, Calif.

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