Rory McIlroy took to Instragram Wednesday to announce the no-brainer news of the year: he’s missing The Open Championship next week.
McIlroy injured his ankle playing football with friends last weekend, and suffered an ankle injury that may take weeks or months to return to full strength from.
McIlroy posted a photo of the now infamous ankle propped up alongside his television as he watched fellow UK native Andy Murray playing in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon with the message:
“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!!!”
It’s the first time since 1954 that the defending champion will miss The Open; Sixty years ago, that was Ben Hogan, who chose simply not to enter the event as he neared the end of his playing career and came in a time where travel across continents was far more difficult and taxing.
Although his own play will ultimately decide his fate, McIlroy’s absence takes away from potential big road block from No. 2 Jordan Spieth’s quest to win The Open after taking The Masters and the US Open already this season.