LA JOLLA, Calif. - West Chester's Sean O'Hair, the only Philadelphia connection in the field of the 108th U.S. Open, was forced to withdraw today because of a pulled chest muscle.

The 25-year-old, who would have been playing in his third Open, suffered the injury in a one-car accident last Thursday morning as he was leaving his housing complex to go work out with his trainer.

O'Hair, who was alone, lost control on a wet road and the vehicle hit a pole.

He was taken to the hospital as a precaution, but X-rays were negative. But the opening of the airbags left him with soreness in his chest.

He flew out here the next morning, and even hit balls on Monday. But by today, he just didn't feel he could swing well enough to compete.

He flew home this afternoon, and hopes to rest and be ready to tee it up again in his next scheduled event, Tiger Woods' AT&T tournament in Washington July 3 to 6.

"It could have happened the week before the Screen-Door Open," O'Hair lamented. "But it didn't. I felt like I was ready to go. Everything happens for a reason. Fortunately, there's nothing serious [that's wrong]. It's just a matter of letting it heal. There's really not much more I can do than that."

His place in the field was taken by England's Gary Wolstenholm.

In 2006 at Winged Foot, O'Hair finished tied for 26th. Last June at Oakmont, he missed the cut.

Right now, he's ranked 35th in the world. He tied for 14th in the Masters, not long after winning his second career event. If he remains in the top 50 he'll play in the British Open, where he's played well, and the PGA. And there's always the possibility he could make a run at a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. *