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Golf

From Staff and Wire Reports

Paul Azinger withdrew from the 73rd PGA Championship this week at Carmel, Ind., and British Open champion Ian Baker-Finch is questionable.

Azinger, recovering from shoulder surgery, dropped out of the 151-man field Tuesday after a practice session. “There’s no way I can put 18 holes together,” he said. “It just hurts too much.”

Baker-Finch, the British Open champion, is suffering from back spasms.

Jack Nicklaus is a longshot to make the Ryder Cup team, despite his victory in the U.S. Senior Open, team captain Dave Stockton said.

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The top 10 finishers on the PGA points list through the PGA Championship qualify for the competition against 12 European golfers Sept. 26-29 at Kiawah Island, S.C.

Stockton, who will select the final two players on the 12-man team, said he is considering Nicklaus, but added that he will wait to see how Nicklaus does in the PGA Championship.

“The PGA Championship is a little bit different than playing against what he did up there,” Stockton said, referring to Nicklaus’ playoff-round 65 at Oakland Hills that won the Senior Open. “Nicklaus is still more of a longshot than some of the younger guys.”

Fred Couples, Payne Stewart, Lanny Wadkins, Hale Irwin, Azinger and Corey Pavin have earned spots on the U.S. team.

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