Sport Golf

Friday 24 February 2017

'You can't live your life in fear of injury' - Phil Mickleson defends Rory McIlroy

Phil Mickelson, pictured, can relate to Rory McIlroy's current injury nightmare
Phil Mickelson, pictured, can relate to Rory McIlroy's current injury nightmare

Phil Mickelson has backed Rory McIlroy's decision to play football shortly before the defence of his Open title, revealing he has done far more dangerous things.

McIlroy is a major doubt for next week's Open at St Andrews after rupturing an ankle ligament during a kickabout with friends last week, a decision which has been criticised in some quarters.

However, Mickelson recalled missing the 1994 Masters after a skiing accident left him with a broken leg.

"I can't talk about that for the simple reason I did it myself," Mickelson said ahead of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. "In '94 I snapped my femur in half before the Masters.

"I said then, and I feel the same way now, you can't live your life in fear. You have to enjoy the moment. I didn't feel like anything he (McIlroy) was doing was unnecessary risk. He was just playing around and accidents happen.

"People get hurt taking a shower and doing normal day-to-day things. You can't stop living your life. It's unfortunate that it happened. Hopefully he'll heal soon and be back at it. If he can't play next week, certainly by the PGA I would hope [where McIlroy is also defending champion]."

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