British Open no easier without Rory, says Jordan Spieth

21-year-old’s pursuit of year’s third Major boosted by potential absence of McIlroy

Jordan Spieth believes next week’s British Open won’t be any easier if world number one Rory McIlroy is absent. Photograph: Getty

Jordan Spieth believes next week’s British Open won’t be any easier if world number one Rory McIlroy is absent. Photograph: Getty

 

Double major winner Jordan Spieth does not believe Rory McIlroy’s anticipated absence from the Open Championship will make his life at St Andrews any easier.

The 21-year-old Texan arrives in Scotland on the back of victory at both the Masters and the US Open, and now keen to unseat Open champion McIlroy.

That task looked a little easier on Monday when McIlroy revealed he had suffered a serious ankle injury that has certainly ruled him out of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and threatens to sideline him for at least three months.

But Spieth, who learned of the Northern Irishman’s injury through social media, would prefer his rival to be in action at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club.

“For me, it doesn’t change anything,” he told the Golf Channel. “It’s still just as challenging. It’s still a major championship and there is a lot of unbelievable talent. I obviously wish he was there.

“It kind of dampens it. You want the defending champion, much less the best player in the world at the event.

“You want all fields to be full strength no matter who it is. Losing the number one player in the world for a major championship would be tough.”

Recalling the moment he first saw the Instagram picture which featured McIlroy on crutches following a footballing mishap, Spieth added: “I thought it was really unfortunate.

“Accidents happen, and I just wish for a speedy recovery. We all want him back as soon as possible.”

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