Jordan Spieth holds Rory McIlroy hope

 Rory McIlroy ahead of Open Championship

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Jordan Spieth remains hopeful that defending champion Rory McIlroy will be fit for the Open Championship after the Brit injured ankle ligaments over the weekend.

The American has won both the Masters and US Open already this season and is on course to achieve an unprecedented Grand Slam if he can become victorious in Britain and at next month’s PGA Championship.

The 21-year-old’s task appears to have been made a little easier ahead of the 144th Open Championship at St Andrews with world number one McIlroy facing a race against time to be fit for the competition he won at Royal Liverpool 12 months ago.

The Northern Irishman is definitely out of this week’s Scottish Open and, with the third major of the year only nine days away, it seems unlikely that he will be fit for The Open.

Spieth, for one, is hopeful his rival will be fit enough to take to the course at the home of golf as he thinks it would detract from the tournament if the world’s best player was not there.

He said: “It kind of dampens it. You want the defending champion, much less the best player in the world at the event. You want all fields to be full strength no matter who it is. Losing the No.1 player in the world for a major championship would be tough.”

The two players have won the last four major titles between them and were expected to both challenge for glory in Fife.

Spieth will continue his preparations for the championship at this week’s John Deere Classic where he is the 4.00 favourite to secure his fourth win of the season.

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