If Rory McIlroy is unable to play the Open Championship because of injury, Jordan Spieth doesn’t think his task will be any easier.
“For me, it doesn’t change anything,” he told Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis on Monday. “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.”
Spieth was in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Monday to participate in the Zach Johnson Foundation Golf Classic before heading to Silvis, Ill., for the John Deere Classic. It is his first start since the U.S. Open, where the 21-year-old became only the fourth player since 1960 to win the first two majors of the year.
Spieth learned of McIlroy’s ankle injury on social media on Monday morning.
“I thought it was really unfortunate,” he said. “Accidents happen, and I just wish for a speedy recovery. We all want him back as soon as possible.”
McIlroy said that he will undergo further testing in the next 48 hours and won’t make a decision on his status for the Open until the end of this week, at the earliest.
If McIlroy can’t play, Spieth said, “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 No. 1 player in the world for a major championship would be tough.”