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British Open 2021: Sungjae Im, Si Woo Kim skipping major to prepare for Olympics

July 02, 2021

Andrew Redington

Sungjae Im and Si Woo Kim have dropped out of the Open Championship in order to focus on the Tokyo Olympics, the R&A announced Friday afternoon.

Im and Kim will represent South Korea at the golf competition in the Summer Games, scheduled to begin at the end of the month. While a handful of stars are skipping the Olympics, the Games are especially important for Im and Kim, as winning the gold medal would earn an exemption from a mandatory two-year service in the South Korean military.

Im entered the week No. 26 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Kim at No. 50. Im missed the cut in his only Open appearance in 2019 while Kim’s best finish was a T-67 in three Open starts.

Taking their spots in the Open field will be Emiliano Grillo and former PGA champ Keegan Bradley.

The 149th Open Championship begins July 15 at Royal St George's in Sandwich, England. As last year’s Open was canceled due to the pandemic, 2019 winner Shane Lowry is the defending champ.