The photo Rory McIlroy posted to Instagram on Wednesday shows his feet up, a black air cast around his left ankle, as he watches Wimbledon on television. The claret jug was positioned beneath the screen.
When it comes to a Grand Slam championship in his own sport, the world’s No. 1 golfer will be reduced to watching this year.
Two days after the stunning news that he ruptured a ligament in his left ankle, McIlroy pulled out of the British Open at St. Andrews, the first time in 61 years that the defending champion will not be in the field.
He injured his ankle over the weekend playing soccer with friends in Northern Ireland. McIlroy held out hope he could still make it to St. Andrews next week, but he decided it was not worth risking a full recovery.
“After much consideration, I have decided not to play in the Open Championship at St. Andrews,” McIlroy said on his Instagram post.
“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 percent healthy and 100 percent competitive.”