Padraig Harrington yesterday pulled out of the Open championship following the death of his father on Monday from cancer of the oesophagus.

A former policeman, Patrick Harrington had been diagnosed in March, the week after his son won his first US Tour title.

Harrington did not play in last week's Barclays Scottish Open and had stayed in Dublin because his father's condition had worsened.

Sweden's Henrik Stenson, 79th on last week's world rankings, replaces Harrington in the field and it is understood Bob Estes is flying over from the United States, as he is now first reserve.

After the discovery of inoperable cancer four months ago, Harrington junior had not wanted to fly to the Players Championship in Florida, but his father persuaded him to make the trip.

He then returned for the Masters and triumphed in America again last month, winning the Barclays Classic with a 65-foot eagle putt on the final green.

His father was too ill to watch the coverage live, but was later shown a video. At Sawgrass in March, Harrington praised the part his father played in his development.

"I couldn't have got more encouragement from my dad," he said.