(Reuters) - Denmark's Thomas Bjorn and South African Richard Sterne on Wednesday withdrew from next week's U.S. Open at Pinehurst, North Carolina due to injuries.
Bjorn, a 15-times winner on the European Tour who has played some of the best golf of his career over the past two years, pulled out of the season's second major because of neck and shoulder injuries.
The 43-year-old Dane, ranked 23rd in the world, will be replaced in the Pinehurst field by American amateur Andrew Dorn.
The long-hitting Sterne, who has triumphed six times on the European Tour but is still rehabilitating from an undisclosed injury, will be replaced by American Scott Langley.
Dorn was the first alternate from a U.S. Open sectional qualifier held in Springfield, Ohio on Monday while Langley was first alternate from a qualifier staged in Memphis, Tennessee.
The U.S. Open will be played from June 12-125 on Pinehurst's fabled No. 2 Course where Englishman Justin Rose will defend the title he won by two shots at Merion last year.
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)