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Webb Simpson made it official on Friday — the reigning U.S. Open champ will not play in next week’s British Open so he can be with his wife, who is about to give birth to the couple’s second child.

Reigning U.S. Open and Deutsche Bank champ Webb Simpson will skip this year’s British Open (Photo: Wikipedia)

Simpson had maintained since winning America’s national championship last month that he would likely pass on playing at Royal Lytham because of his wife’s expected due date in two weeks. His withdrawal marked the second time in five years that the U.S. Open winner will miss the British Open, since Tiger Woods could not play at Birkdale in 2008 after undergoing knee surgery following his Open triumph at Torrey Pines.

Simpson joined Jason Day and 1998 Open victor Mark O’Meara on the WD list. Day sent his regrets on Tuesday because his wife had just given birth to their first child, and O’Meara was still nursing a rib injury that has put him out of action since March.

“After winning it’s certainly a little harder not to go because I’d love to go and try to win another major, but in the grand scheme of things and grand scheme of life it’s a decision that I know I’ll always be happy that I made,” Simpson said prior to the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn., in June. “The first experience watching my first son being born was one of the greatest experiences I think a person can have — and I don’t want to miss it again.”

Emily Kay is a regular contributor to New England Golf Monthly. You may follow Kay on Twitter @golfexaminer

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