Britain's Justin Rose gestures as he speaks at a press conference ahead of the British Open Golf Championship at the Royal Troon Golf Club in Troon, Scotland, Tuesday July 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Ben Curtis
July 12, 2016

TROON, Scotland (AP) The Latest on the British Open (all times local):

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8:10 p.m.

Marco Dawson's caddie has been taken to hospital after being hit on the head by a tee shot from Vijay Singh during a practice round at the British Open.

The R&A, which organizes the British Open, said William Ciplinski's injuries were not serious and that he was talking and fully conscious before being transferred to hospital for overnight observation.

Ciplinski was standing on the eighth green at Royal Troon when he was hit by Singh's drive from the adjacent seventh hole. He was taken to a medical center at the course and then onto a hospital in nearby Ayr.

Dawson, a 52-year-old Champions Tour golfer, qualified for Royal Troon by winning the Senior British Open last year.

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7:30 p.m.

Jason Day was about to hit his approach to No. 18 in a practice round at Royal Troon on Tuesday when he pulled out of the shot at the top of his backswing and grabbed his ribs.

A look of anguish came across his face.

Was this an injury scare for the world's top-ranked player?

''I just popped something,'' the Australian said after he finished the hole. ''You know, like when you crack your knuckle. But it's all good.''

To show there were no lingering effects, Day jogged to the side of the fairway and signed autographs for waiting fans.

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2 p.m.

Rory McIlroy says golf needs to get tougher in its drug-testing procedures if it ''wants to be seen as a mainstream sport.''

McIlroy says the infrequent urine tests performed by golf's major governing bodies aren't nearly enough to root out any doping cheats who might be looking for an edge on the course. He says blood tests must become part of the regimen ''to get in line with the other sports that test more rigorously.''

McIlroy says he knows of no illicit drug that would help a golfer in all facets of the game. He calls the threat of doping in golf ''pretty low.''

But he also says that it's easy to beat the current testing program. For example, McIlroy says he could be using human growth hormone ''and get away with it.'' He believes ''blood testing is something that needs to happen in golf just to make sure that it is a clean sport going forward.''

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1:30 p.m.

Rory McIlroy has taken aim at Olympic golf, saying he's not even sure he'll watch it on television.

McIlroy spoke Tuesday after a practice round for the British Open. He won't be playing in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, citing health concerns, and it's clear he's not a big fan of the sport even being part of the games for the first time since 1904.

McIlroy says he's ''very comfortable'' with his decision not to go to Rio. He also he will ''probably watch the Olympics, but I'm not sure golf is one of the sports I'll watch.''

Asked which sports would get his attention, McIlroy mentioned athletics, swimming and diving. He called those sports ''the stuff that matters.''

McIlroy goes on to say he didn't become a golfer ''to grow the game'' - one of the reasons often cited by boosters of Olympic golf as a reason to support their efforts. He says his main goal is to win major championships.

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12:15 p.m.

Jordan Spieth calls his withdrawal from the Olympics ''probably the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life.''

Spieth says he's a huge supporter of Olympic golf and playing for the United States. But he says health concerns over the Zika virus led him to sit out the sport's return to the games for the first time since 1904.

The four top players in the world rankings are all skipping the Rio de Janeiro Games. Spieth was the last of the Big Four to make his decision, announcing it Monday after Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy withdrew from Olympic consideration.

Spieth had not commented on his decision until Tuesday's scheduled news conference ahead of the British Open. He says he ''very much struggled'' with whether to play in Rio, going ''back and forth'' before finally making up his mind. He also says it will be ''very difficult'' to watch the opening ceremony on television and see other golfers competing for a gold medal.

Spieth goes on to say that playing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is now one of his top priorities.

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Noon

Masters champion Danny Willett says he's ''willing to take that little bit of risk'' and play at the Olympics because the likelihood of contracting the Zika virus is lessening every day.

Speaking a day after Jordan Spieth became the latest high-profile golfer to withdraw from the Rio de Janeiro Games, Willett says it's been a ''tough decision'' but that ''you don't know how many times you will be in the Olympics, if it will be in the Olympics again.''

Golf will be played at the 2020 Tokyo Games but its future is uncertain after that.

Willett says concerns over Zika ''could be a non-event.''

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11:25 a.m.

The International Olympic Committee says it ''respects'' the decision by several top golfers to skip the Rio de Janeiro Games because of the Zika virus.

But the IOC and its president, Thomas Bach, are also pointing to the guidelines from the World Health Organization, which has not recommended any restrictions on travel to Rio. Also, the IOC says there is much less threat of contracting mosquito-borne viruses during the winter months in South America.

Bach told German news agencies that ''these are individual decisions taken by the players that stand in contrast to the WHO recommendations.'' He also says ''it is obvious that this does not help the attractiveness of the golf competition.''

Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth have all decided to sit out golf's return to the Olympics for the first time since 1904.

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11 a.m.

The British Open has been overshadowed by the news of another big-name withdrawal from the Olympics.

Two-time major champion Jordan Spieth dropped out on Monday, just before the deadline to set the 60-man field. Like others before him, he had cited concerns over the Zika virus.

Spieth is expected to go into more detail during a media availability Tuesday.

His decision means the top four in the world rankings are skipping the Rio de Janeiro Games. Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy had already announced they won't take part in golf's return to the Olympics for the first time since 1904.

Masters champion Danny Willett will be going for the gold. He says the mosquito-borne virus appears to be less of a threat during the South American winter.

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