Phil Mickelson is glad Tiger Woods will not be at next week's Open Championship. But far from expressing his satisfaction for selfish reasons, the world No 6 was thinking only of his rival's long-term future.
Woods withdrew from the Sandwich field on Tuesday because of injuries to his left knee and Achilles, and said "it was time to be smart" and listen to the doctors. Mickelson applauded that decision.
"When you've played golf at the level he's played it you don't just forget how to play," said the left-hander, who for long had a fractious relationship with Woods. "He's going to get back to a level that is close to where he was at, if not where he was at. But it won't happen until he's healthy.
"So by him waiting however long it takes to be healthy before he resumes his competitive play, I think is going to a plus for him in the long run."
Woods has not played since May when he withdrew after just nine holes of the Players Championship. He is expected to be back at next month's WGC Bridgestone Invitational.
Levet leg break puts dampener on celebrations
Thomas Levet has withdrawn from the Open after breaking a leg jumping in a lake to celebrate winning the French Open on Sunday. The 42-year-old Frenchman leapt into the water with his manager, Patrice Bartez, and suffered a fracture to his shin.
"I am extremely disappointed to miss out on the Open," Levet said. "I will be off for six weeks which is very bad timing, with so many important tournaments coming up. However, the wonderful memory of winning my national Open will definitely keep me going through my recovery."