Rory McIlroy knows there are two ways of looking at the absence of Tiger Woods from the US Open that starts on Thursday.
On one hand he considers it bad for the event. However, he is fully aware that it could be a boost to his own chances of success.
"It's obviously not great for the golf tournament - it would have been great to see him play," said the 22-year-old. "But I suppose it leaves the door a little bit open for a few of the guys."
He added: "Every time you have Tiger in the field you've got to think that he's going to have a good chance. To have one of the main contenders not here gives the rest of us a little bit more of a chance."
Woods, out with knee and Achilles injuries, has failed to make it back to the Congressional course near Washington where he first became world number one 14 years ago - with a 19th-place finish.
"You have to take care of your health before anything else," added McIlroy, so keen to make instant amends in the majors for his closing 80 from four in front at The Masters in April.
"It was apparent that his body still isn't in a good enough place to play competitive golf.
"Hopefully he gets back on the course soon, but he still looked like he was in quite a lot of pain in the nine holes he played at The Players."