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Svoboda gets into Open as Karlsson withdraws

Former St. John's star and New York State Open winner Andrew Svoboda will be in the U.S. Open next week. He was named to the field Friday as a replacement for Robert Karlsson of Sweden, who withdrew because of an eye infection.

Karlsson is 14th in the World Golf Ranking, having won two tournaments last year on the European Tour and tied for fourth in the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. He has a condition that took away depth perception in his left eye, according to a statement by the U.S. Golf Association.

That opened the door for Svoboda, 29, a Larchmont resident who won a playoff to become first alternate at the Open sectional qualifier Monday in Purchase, N.Y.

It will be his third Open in the past four years. At Torrey Pines last year, he arrived as the second alternate, which meant he was not allowed to play the course ahead of time. He got into the field at 11 a..m. during the first round and shot 77-71 to make the cut.

Svoboda figures he has played Bethpage Black, site of the Open, about 40 times. He won the 2007 New York State Open there and finished eighth in the same event on the course last year.

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