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Rory McIlroy defends pre-Open rest

Rory McIlroy has defended his decision to put away his golf clothing and golf shoes for three weeks following his US Open triumph.

The Northern Irishman, who now sits at number three in the world, is currently enjoying a break from competitive golf, but his decision to rest has been criticised by a number of prominent figures in the game.

Responding to the criticism, McIlroy said: "Some people may have wondered why I chose to go from one major straight to another without anything in between and the answer is simple.

"Because of what happened at Congressional and the way it became such a big deal, I wanted to get everything out of the way and sorted so that when I did start playing again I could just concentrate on golf."

He said the excitement of his first major win and the media attention that came with it would have made it difficult to practice and play in the French Open, which was won by Tomas Levet.

The 23-year-old may have been taking a break from competitive golf but he has been busy practicing at Royal St George's before the rest of the field get there next week.

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