Rory McIlroy has set his sights on Olympic success at the 2024 Games in Paris after falling just short in his medal bid in Japan.
The four-time major champion was part of an epic seven-way play-off for the bronze medal at Kasumigaseki Country Club, where Xander Schauffele won gold for Team USA ahead of Slovakia’s Rory Sabbatini.
McIlroy carded a final-round 67 to finish on 15 under alongside Paul Casey, Hideki Matsuyama, Collin Morikawa, Mito Pereira, Sebastian Munoz and CT Pan, before being eliminated on the third extra hole.
“It makes me even more determined going to Paris and try to pick one [a medal] up,” McIlroy said “It’s disappointing going away from here without any hardware. I’ve been saying all day I never tried so hard in my life to finish third.
“It has been a great experience, today was a great day to be up there in contention for a medal, certainly had a different feeling to it than I expected. As I said, I’m already looking forward to three years’ time and trying to go at least one better but hopefully three better.
“I made some comments before that were probably uneducated and impulsive, but coming here experiencing it, seeing, feeling everything that goes on, not just Olympic golf but just the Olympics in general, that sort of Olympic spirit’s definitely bitten me and I’m excited how this week’s turned out and excited for the future.”
Casey had birdied two of his final four holes to close a three-under 68 and join the logjam in tied-third, with the Englishman enjoying his Olympic experience despite being the first player to be knocked out of the bronze play-off.
“What a day to play the final group in the Olympics with Hideki [Matsuyama] and then Xander [Schauffele], the gold medallist in Japan,” Casey said. “For me, that was one of the coolest rounds to be a part of.
“I wish I could have got my driver working a bit better and I struggled, but I battled and I’m so very proud of how hard I worked and tried to squeeze as much out of my game as I possibly could.
“I would love to have brought a medal home, not just for myself but for Team GB, would have been the ultimate. But the whole week has been phenomenal. I’ve made friends, can’t say enough good things about my experience this week.”
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