After sustaining a major ankle injury over the weekend, Rory McIlroy ‘s chances of competing in this year’s British Open have dwindled considerably.
While playing a football kickabout with friends on Saturday, the world number one suffered the injury, which came with associated joint capsule damage. On a social media post, on instagram, McIlroy stated, “Continuing to assess extent of injury and treatment plan day by day. Rehab already started.” McIlroy did not rule himself out of the British Open this year however, as his preparations were coming along well ahead of the showpiece of the British golfing calendar.
Speculation as to whether or not he will be able to be able to play has been top of the golfing headlines over the past few days, with pundits and experts alike chipping in with their opinions on the matter. An injury such as this can take three months to heal, even with the right rehabilitation, so it seems unlikely that the Northern Irishman will make an appearance at the British Open.
Plenty of people have called his decision to play football so close to a major into question, stating that he should “Do it in his off time”. Whether this is reasonable or not is simply a matter of opinion – certainly, it would have been more sensible not to play, but placing such restrictions on his life may be rather hardline.
Paul McGinley has expressed his feelings on the matter, saying McIlroy’s absence would be a blow for the British Open. “I know St Andrews is a golf course he really loves and a golf course that really suits his game. It’s a shame, a shame for the tournament and a shame for Rory if that’s the case,” he said.
Jordan Spieth is one fellow professional who wants to see his main competitor at the event, saying that were he to miss out, it would dampen the occasion. He added, “You want all fields to be full strength no matter who it is.” Spieth remains on course to achieve a feat that no-one else has before – the calendar slam, where a player wins all four majors in a single calendar year. The closest anyone else has come before is Tiger Woods, who completed the so-called ‘Tiger Slam’. Between 2000 and 2001 Woods held all four majors consecutively, starting with the US open in 2000 and finishing off with the 2001 Masters. Spieth must win the British Open and the USPGA to best this.
The British Open will be played at St. Andrews this year – a tradition occurring once every five years. Originally, the tournament was played at Prestwick every year, beginning in 1860. Prize money was not even around at that time, being introduced in 1864, with Old Tom Morris taking home a total of £6. Today the best in the world shoot-out over four days, the winner taking home nearly £1,000,000.
Author Eoghan Aston
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