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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 June, 2005, 09:48 GMT 10:48 UK
Clarke puts family before US Open
Darren Clarke
Clarke has had five top-10 finishes in his eight US events this year
Darren Clarke has withdrawn from next week's US Open to be with his wife Heather, who has cancer.

He has also pulled out of this week's Booz Allen Classic in Maryland.

Clarke has not played since withdrawing halfway through the BMW Championship at Wentworth two weeks ago after Heather returned to hospital.

"It's more important for me to be with my family. There are more important issues to be dealt with at the moment than swinging a golf club," he said.

Heather came out of intensive care on Monday and it is hoped she will be released from hospital some time next week.

Clarke will then consider playing a limited schedule depending on his wife's health.

Next week's event will be the first major he has missed since 1998.

The tournament is being played at Pinehurst, the course where the 36-year-old Northern Irishman had his best-ever finish in the US Open when he came joint 10th in 1999.

Clarke has had five top-10 finishes in his eight US events so far this season.


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