World Cup factor led Rory McIlroy to pick Ireland for the 2016 Rio Olympics
The world No 6 represented the Republic as an amateur
Rory McIlroy will represent Ireland when golf returns to the Olympic Games in 2016 in Brazil. After deliberating for the best part of two years McIlroy finally put his loyalty to Irish golf above his British citizenship, thanks to a little nudge from the World Cup.
McIlroy’s junior career was funded in part by the Golf Union of Ireland, whom he represented in competitions as an amateur.
“I feel like it’s the right decision for me. There’s no point in delaying it and letting it linger any longer. Watching the World Cup in Brazil, thinking about Brazil in a couple of years’ time, it just sort of got me thinking, maybe I should just go ahead and get it out of the way, and really look forward now to the Olympics in a couple years’ time. 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.”
McIlroy’s announcement on the eve of the Irish Open took the heat out of the Olympic issue, which always acquires a sharper focus on home soil.
The delayed arrival of his clubs after going missing over the Atlantic on his return from the US Open saw another headache cured.
If he can locate the putter this week, he might even get the reward his ball-striking deserves. With the news that Tiger Woods is advancing his recovery, the season gains a new impetus leading up to the Open Championship at Hoylake next month.
McIlroy, already a winner at Wentworth last month, has also included the Scottish Open in Aberdeen as part of his major preparations, which begin today at the Fota Island links in Cork. “The win at Wentworth a few weeks ago was great. The last couple of tournaments, Memorial and US Open, there were flashes of good stuff, and I fell away over the weekend at the US Open which was quite disappointing.
“There’s a lot to play for this week. I’ve got a chance to go to the top of The Race to Dubai and a chance to get back into the top five in the world, so it’s not a week I’m taking lightly. I have been disappointed with my performances at this event. I want to come here and put my best foot forward and try to get a win.”
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Mutual contempt burns as rivals Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho face off again
Wayne Rooney is Premier League's richest footballer with £72million worth but Lewis Hamilton leads the Sunday Times Rich List
Memphis Depay to Manchester United: Louis van Gaal faces difficult task as Liverpool hold 'secret' meeting with transfer target
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Liverpool transfer news: Brendan Rodgers reveals transfer plans to sign a new striker to put Daniel Sturridge's future into doubt
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Katie Hopkins on LBC: Listen to caller taking The Sun columnist to task over migrant comments
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election