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Saturday 10 December 2016

Video: Tiger absence piles pressure on McIlroy at British Open -- Harrington

GOLF

Bernie McGuire

Published 06/07/2011 | 05:00

Padraig Harrington reckons the heat will be ratcheted up on Rory McIlroy after Tiger Woods confirmed yesterday he will not be playing in next week's British Open at Sandwich.

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In the absence of Woods , McIlroy is now 6/1 favourite to make it back-to-back Major wins.

"Tiger is the name you look out for the most when we are all playing in a tournament, we all like to beat him, but with Tiger now out, we will all be looking to see where Rory is on the leaderboard," said Harrington.

Woods was not prepared to take the gamble he did at the Players Championship on May 12 -- he shot 42 for nine holes and then quit. The three-time champion will miss the event for the second time in four years.

"Unfortunately, I've been advised that I should not play in the British Open," Woods said.

The 14-time Major winner has had four operations on his left knee -- one of those led to him missing Birkdale in 2008 -- and hurt it again during the Masters, where he also injured an Achilles.

"I am only going to come back when I'm 100pc ready. I do not want to risk further injury," he said. "I'm being smarter this time. I'm very disappointed and want to express my regrets to the fans."

Woods was diagnosed with a grade one mild medial collateral ligament sprain to his left knee and a mild strain to his left Achilles tendon, suffered while hitting a shot from under a tree at Augusta.

He was unable to play in the Wells Fargo Championship and then came Sawgrass.

"In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have competed at the Players, but it's a big event and I wanted to be there," he said. "I've got to learn from what I did there and do it right this time and not come back until I'm ready.

"I think my best years are still ahead of me and I'm very optimistic about the future."

Irish Independent

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