Tiger out, Thai substitute golfer rushes in
FAR HILLS, NEW JERSEY – Tiger Woods’ decision to sit out the US Open worked out well for a 23-year-old Thai golfer struggling to make the big time.
Thitiphun Chuayprakong was the first alternate from the Japan sectional qualifier. The USGA determined that he was first on its alternate list for Oakmont.
Thitiphun has never played in a major. He has one career victory on the Asian Tour, earlier this year at the Bangladesh Open.
Woods announced Tuesday that he was not ready for competition as he recovers from two back surgeries last year.
It was the third time in the past six years that injuries have kept Woods out of the US Open. The last time he didn’t play was in 2014, and his numerical replacement was another first-time US Open participant: Masters champion Danny Willett.