McIlroy picks Ireland over Great Britain for Rio

JOSH REICH
Last updated 02:10 19/06/2014
Rory McIlroy
Getty Images
POOR START: Rory McIlroy has fired a three-over-par 74 in the first round of the Irish Open.

Relevant offers

Golf

Lydia Ko powers away to win Arkansas Championship and claim 13th LPGA win Recap: Lydia Ko final round at NW Arkansas Championship on the LPGA Tour New Zealand's Lydia Ko ties course record, shares LPGA tour lead in Arkansas Lydio Ko in touch with leaders after slick opening round at latest LPGA Tour event Mark Reason: PGA Tour's denials the sort of stuff you expect from Russians Golf not all glamour and fun, just ask Manor Park pro Gareth Paddison Kiwi golfing hotshots bounce back in world cup to finish in top 10 Scottish golfer Paul Lawrie hooks tee shot into spectator's shirt at BMW International Ryan Fox tied second after first round of latest European Challenge Tour event Graeme McDowell won't replace Rory McIlroy for Ireland at Rio Olympics

Rory McIlroy says he will represent Ireland at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, putting an end to speculation that he may have chosen to play for Great Britain instead.

The 25-year-old two-time major winner was born in Northern Ireland and could have represented both Ireland and Britain when golf returns to the Olympic stage for the first time since 1904.

"I see this as a continuation of what I have always done," he was reported as saying on Wednesday ahead of the Irish Open at the Fota Golf Club in Cork.

"I have been thinking about it a lot. I don't know if it is because the World Cup is in Brazil and I was thinking a couple of years down the line.

"I was thinking about all the times I have played for Ireland as a boy and everything. For me it is the right decision to play for Ireland."

McIlroy, who recently split from his fiancee, Danish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki, had earlier said "he would probably play for Great Britain", and in 2013 suggested he may miss the tournament altogether to avoid controversy over any decision.

"I was always very proud to put on the Irish uniform and play as an amateur and as a boy, and I would be very proud to do it again," he added.

"Just because now that I'm playing golf for money and I'm a professional, I'm supposed to have this choice or this decision to make, where if you look at the rugby players, you look at cricketers or hockey players, they view Ireland as one, the same as we do in golf.

"I don't think there's any point to change that or go against that just because it's a different event or it's the Olympics.

"I've had a lot of time on my own the last few weeks and just been thinking about it a lot. It's something that's been quite important to me and something that I needed to make some sort of decision or some sort of stand on it.

"Just weighing up everything, and thinking back about the times that I played for Ireland and won the European Team championship with Ireland, won a lot of great amateur titles representing Ireland, I just thought why change that?"

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

If she is able to, when do you expect Lydia Ko to win her first major?

Next year, she's so close

She's still working towards it, within three years

It may be longer than we think, within five years

The expectation might be too much, maybe never

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content