Rory McIlroy has withdrawn from next week’s British Open at St Andrews after failing to recover from an ankle injury he sustained playing football.
“After much consideration, I have decided not to play in the Open Championship at St. Andrews,” the world No 1 said Wednesday on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.
“I’m taking a long-term view of this injury and, although rehab is progressing well, I want to come back to tournament play when I feel 100% healthy and 100% competitive.
“Thank you for all your support and best wishes. I hope to be back on the course as soon as I can.”
The 26-year-old Northern Irishman had revealed the extent of the injury on his Twitter and Instagram accounts on Monday.
“Total rupture of left ATFL (ankle ligament) and associated joint capsule damage in a soccer kickabout with friends on Saturday,” he said.
McIlroy’s budding rivalry with 21-year-old American Jordan Spieth – the two of them own all four major titles between them – had been billed as the focal point of this year’s Open and his absence will be sorely felt.
But golfers preparing for the Scottish Open at Gullane were quick to come to his defence.
Rickie Fowler, who is the same age as McIlroy, said that it was just an unfortunate accident.
“It is unfortunate,” the American said. “I’m of the impression that you have to live, you can’t be too cautious.”
Fellow American Phil Mickelson said that he had a similar experience in 1994.
“I snapped my finger before the Masters skiing and I said then, and I feel the same way now, you can’t live your life in fear. You have to enjoy the moment,” the 45-year-old said.
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