Crocked Rory McIlroy can only put his feet up and watch The Open
There was disappointment yesterday as World No 1 golfer Rory McIlroy announced he was pulling out of The Open Championship at St Andrews next week due to an ankle injury.
The Holywood golfer sustained ligament damage during a football kickabout with friends.
Rory made his decision public though an announcement on the 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.
Rory''s Instagram photo offered a unique insight into his domestic arrangements as he recuperates from his ankle injury,
There is a close-up of his daintily-pedicured tootsies as he puts his feet up to watch Wimbledon on his widescreen TV. At his side, close to hand is a warm, woolly hat - just the thing if he fancied a little exercise and decided to brave the unpredictable summer weather.
On the fireplace by the TV sits a replica of the famous Claret Jug, the prize presented to each year's winner of The Open Championship.
The organisers of the tournament said they were "disappointed" the World No 1 had had to pull out of the event, but were confident that "Rory will play in many more Opens and our primary concern is for his complete recovery".
Medical sources said injuries of the kind Rory had sustained could take up to six weeks to heal and the World's No.1 has four tournaments scheduled over that period.
With his withdrawal from the St Andrews tournament now confirmed, speculation is mounting that McIlroy may not be fully fit in time to defend his US PGA Championship, the final Major of the season, next month.
see sport, page 64