McIlroy Confirms He Will Tee-Up In Irish Colours In 2020 Olympics

It’s official!  Rory McIlroy will travel to Japan next year to represent Ireland in the 2020 Olympic Games.

After all the uncertainly with many of the world’s leading golfers ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, along with fears of the Azika virus, there will be no such indecison this time around.

Indeed, it seems the world’s top-ranked golfers will be climbing over each other to get to Tokyo.

“It would be a great experience. We’re going to play the Open and then probably go back to Memphis and then go to Tokyo. So it’s sort of going to be one of those deals where we probably get in on Tuesday, tee it upon a Thursday, and then we’ve got to get ready for the rest of the season.

Rory McIlroy will make himself available for the 2020 Olympics Games and he will play with Ireland. (Photo – PGA of America)

“It’s just one of those things where it’s just in the middle of a really busy stretch. But yeah, right now in my mind I’ll most likely play.”

Though McIlroy seemed somewhat in a defensive mode when later quizzed on the subject ahead of this week’s PGA Championship at Bethpage Park as to what country he will represent.

‘The same one that I said a few years ago,’ he said.

But then further into the interview there was a ‘warmer’ question when McIlroy was what pride he had gleanded over so many years representing Ireland in golf.

“I think as a young boy it was always my dream to play for Ireland. I wanted to play for Ireland,” he said.

“I was very proud to put on that shirt or that blazer. It’s the same as like the rugby players, right? There’s players that play for Ulster, but they want to play for Ireland. It’s seen as a whole island sport, just like hockey is, just like most of the sports are.

“So then obviously when you put the Olympics into the equation and then there’s a choice to be made, you really have to start thinking, okay, well, what are your beliefs and your values and your — it makes you sort of have to delve a little bit deeper.

“It’s not just a superficial decision. It’s something that you have to really believe in. I’ve thought about that for a long time, and in the end, it was the fact that when I was a little boy and I got that first call up to the national squad to go on to Citywest and be a part of the youth system or the boys or whatever, you know, and making that team and playing
in home internationals, I was so proud to do that.

“So why would it be any different just because it’s a different golf tournament or because it’s a different
arena or a different environment? That was basically what it came down to. I mean, I had an unbelievable amateur career, and I don’t mean that in terms of results, but I mean that in the experiences I had and the trips that I had and the friendships that I made and the friendships that I still have to this day.

“That was all because of playing for Ireland and getting close to some of those guys.

“I’m excited to be going to the Olympics. I’m excited to play for Ireland. I’m excited that Neil Manchip, who was our national coach when I was an amateur, is going to lead the team. I don’t know who might be going on that team, as well, whether it’s Sheehan or Seamus or whoever, but yeah, I’m excited for it. It’s going to be a great experience, and probably a little bit nostalgic because it’ll bring me back to 15 years ago, whenever I was doing that with the same people, with
Neil, with Sheehan.

“So it’s going to be cool.”

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