Golf: McIlroy speaks after shot accidentally hits father
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy has made his Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games but not for Team GB, as the four time major champion chose to represent Ireland at the event. The former world number one has put himself right into contention at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Tokyo after his third round four-under, 67 moved him into a tie for fifth on 11-under-par, three shots behind leader Xander Schauffele with one round to play.
The two-time PGA Championship winner was born in Holywood, Northern Ireland making him a UK citizen and eligible to represent Team GB.
Despite this, the 32-year-old spent much of his early golfing career representing Ireland both as an amateur and at the World Cup of Golf, something he explained in 2012 ahead of his decision for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro.
In an interview with the MailOnline, McIlroy said: “What makes it such an awful position to be in is I have grown up my whole life playing for Ireland under the Golfing Union of Ireland umbrella.”
JUST IN: Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey move into contention at Tokyo 2020 Olympics
Why is Rory McIlroy competing for Ireland and not Team GB?
However, what makes the 19-time PGA Tour winner’s decision to represent Ireland in Tokyo even more confusing is comments McIlroy made in the same interview in 2012, where he disclosed that he felt ‘more British than Irish’.
He added: “But the fact is, I’ve always felt more British than Irish. Maybe it was the way I was brought up, I don’t know, but I have always felt more of a connection with the UK than with Ireland. And so I have to weigh that up against the fact that I’ve always played for Ireland and so it is tough.”
Despite facing the issue for the 2016 Games the world number 13 did not end up competing in Rio De Janeiro due to the Zika virus outbreak ahead of the event.
Shane Lowry stresses significance of Olympic medal for Ireland as star eyes podium spot
Jon Rahm laments Olympics absence as he watches from home after positive Covid test
Bryson DeChambeau’s former caddie lifts lid on ‘big split’
And, whilst he has made the trip to Tokyo for this year’s tournament, McIlroy was somewhat apprehensive about becoming an Olympian ahead of the Games.
Speaking after the Open Championship at Royal St George’s he said: “I don’t know if there is much to look forward to [about the Olympics], It’s obviously going to be a very different environment.”
Despite his initial Olympic doubt though, the Team Ireland outfit seemed to have had a clear change in opinion following his debut and time in and around the event in Tokyo.
Following his second round on Friday, McIlroy said: idn’t know if this was going to be my only Olympics that I play or whatever and I’m already looking forward to Paris. When your sport is in the Olympics, and you’re all a part of something that’s a bit bigger than yourself and your sport, and that’s a great thing.”
Source: Read Full Article