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Rory McIlroy withdraws from The Open Championship
Perhaps not exactly surprising, when Rory McIlroy broke the news that his recent injury had ruled him out of this year’s Open Championship defence at St Andrews there were still more than a few disappointed faces.
The World No.1 sustained ligament damage during a football kickabout with pals in his native home of Holywood in Northern Ireland. And despite his early announcement that he was prepared to work through the injury in time for his Open Championship title defence, he has now gone public with the decision to withdraw entirely from the event.
McIlroy made the announcement on social media network Instagram, saying: "After much consideration, I have decided not to play in The Open Championship at St Andrews.
"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.... In the mean time, come on Andy (Murray)!!!" he said.
He also added an accompanying photo which showed him lying on his couch, foot wrapped in a sling, watching the tennis.
Organisers of the tournament said they were “disappointed” the World No.1 had been forced the pull out of the competition but were confident that “Rory will play in many more Opens and our primary concern is for his complete recovery.”
Several media sources have pointed out that this sort of injury could take up to six weeks to heal – with four tournaments scheduled for the World No.1 over that time period.
So what now for McIlroy? There is growing speculation that, with his withdrawal from St Andrews confirmed, he may not be fit enough to defend his US PGA Championship next month, which would see him miss the final Major of the season.