Spieth wants Rory back soon as he bids for No 1

SILVIS, July 8

Reigning US Open and Masters champion Jordan Spieth said on Tuesday he wants injured world No 1 Rory McIlroy healthy and playing as soon as possible while trying to overtake him.

The 21-year-old American, playing at this week’s US PGA John Deere Classic, would become the first player since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win the US and British Opens and the Masters in the same year if he can add the Claret Jug to his collection of major prizes next week at St Andrews. His task might have gotten easier after McIlroy, the reigning PGA Championship and British Open champion, announced on Monday that he had ruptured a left ankle ligament playing football with his pals and was unlikely to defend his crown next week in Scotland.

“I don’t change much in my life other than a couple things you obviously are a little more cautious of,” Spieth said of mixing fun with avoiding injury. “But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. It’s just sometimes there are fluke accidents. And as far as with Rory, it’s just — we want him back. Everybody does. It’s unlucky, it’s unfortunate and I’m sure he’s taking it harder on himself than anybody else. But I don’t think he did anything wrong. It just was an unfortunate situation and hopefully he rebounds quickly and gets back right to where he was.”

While the injury appears to have delayed a showdown of Spieth and McIlroy in top form, world No 2 Spieth wants McIlroy at his best as he tries to move past him into the top of the rankings heap — one event at a time. “The more you look at the big picture of things, the more weight there is on it,” Spieth said. “I think if I just focus on how can I try and win the golf tournament this week, I’m going to inch my way closer to that ultimate goal. I didn’t think at the beginning of the year I would have a chance to get there this year and there certainly is an opportunity now. I’ve never been closer.”

Spieth is wary of injuries, but has no plans to curtail anything he does off the course for fun in the wake of McIlroy’s mishap. “It is a little bit tricky, I guess. ” Spieth said.