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Xander Schauffele has backed Rory McIlroy’s decision to take a break from the game after his US Open heartbreak.

McIlroy described Sunday as the ‘toughest’ day in his professional career before revealing that he won’t tee it up until the Genesis Scottish Open in July.

The Northern Irishman will return to East Lothian to defend his title after outdueling Robert MacIntyre at the Renaissance Club last year.

In a statement, McIlroy wrote: “I’m going to take a few weeks away from the game and process everything and build myself back up for my defence of the Genesis Scottish Open and The Open at Royal Troon.

“See you in Scotland.”

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And his PGA Tour rival and current world No.2 Schauffele believes it’s what McIlroy needs.

“As a competitor all of us have had our highs and lows to a certain degree,” he said, speaking ahead of this week’s Travelers Championship. “It’s a tough spot. It for sure is a tough spot.

“I’m sure him and his team are discussing what happened and sometimes you just need to step away from it all and really try and be as objective as possible, because you’re very much in the moment there and it obviously didn’t go his way and he’s just, you know, he needs some time away to figure out what’s going on.”

It means that McIlroy won’t feature in this week’s signature event in Connecticut after a busy season so far. The 35-year-old has contested 15 events across the PGA Tour and DP World Tour since January.

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Meanwhile, Bryson DeChambeau – who lifted the US Open trophy in North Carolina – insisted McIlroy will bounce back.

“Rory is one of the best to ever play,” DeChambeau said. “Being able to fight against a great like that is pretty special. For him to miss that putt, I’d never wish it on anybody.

“He’ll win multiple more major championships. There’s no doubt. I think that fire in him is going to continue to grow and I have nothing but respect for how he plays the game of golf.”

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John Turnbull A graduate of the University of Stirling, John joined the bunkered team in 2023 as a Content Producer, with a responsibility for covering all breaking news, tour news, grassroots content and much more besides. A keen golfer, he plays the majority of his golf at Falkirk Golf Club. Top of his 'bucket list' is a round of Pebble Beach... ideally in the company of Gareth Bale.

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