The Open Phil Mickelson defends injured Rory McIlroy

Phil Mickelson defended Rory McIlroy after the world number one's ruptured ankle ligaments ruled him out of The Open.

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 Phil Mickelson

(Omni Sports)
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Phil Mickelson defended Rory McIlroy after the world number one's ruptured ankle ligaments ruled him out of The Open.

McIlroy, 26, will miss the year's third major championship on Wednesday, having suffered the injury while playing football with friends.

Mickelson, who missed the Masters in 1994 after snapping his femur while skiing, leapt to McIlroy's defence.

The four-time major winner had been criticised for putting himself at "unnecessary risk" ahead of a major.

"I can't talk about that for the simple reason I did it myself," Mickelson said.

"In 1994 I snapped my femur in half before the Masters skiing and I said then and feel the same way now that you can't live your life in fear and caution.

"You have got to enjoy the moment and I didn't feel anything he was doing was unnecessary risk, he was just playing around and accidents happen.

"People get hurt taking a shower or doing normal day-to-day things.

"You can't stop living your life and it's sad that it has happened."

Five-time major winner Mickelson is without a victory since he claimed The Open title in 2013.

The 45-year-old said he was excited ahead of the tournament, which begins on July 16.

"I always love this two-week stretch and coming to Scotland and playing the Scottish and the British and this year is a special year because we have got it at St Andrews," Mickelson said.

"I am very excited and have my family with me again just like two years ago and this is a special two weeks.

"Being here near Muirfield brings back memories and I haven't played it yet, today will be my first round but we have enjoyed our time over here.

"I have been in the UK since Saturday morning and spent a few days in Dublin and had a great time and I am looking forward to these couple of weeks."

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