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Dublin: 17 °C Monday 21 May, 2018

'I still have a choice' - Rory McIlroy won't be pushed into Irish Olympic team

He’ll make the call further down the road to Rio.

Local hero: McIlroy wears a tar-heel cap in North Carolina this week.
Local hero: McIlroy wears a tar-heel cap in North Carolina this week.
Image: Rory McIlroy via twitter

RORY MCILROY YESTERDAY insisted he still had a choice on who to represent at the new Olympic Games in Brazil.

Peter Dawson, chief of the Royal & Ancient, recently indicated that the Holywood man would be compelled to play under the tricolour in Rio in 2016.

This, he said, is because McIlroy has played for Ireland in previous tournaments like World Cups.

Speaking at a press conference last night ahead of the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina, McIlroy said: “I think ‑‑ I mean, I saw I think it’s Rule 41 in the IOC states that I still have a choice.

“It’s not like they can take it away from me.  If you play for a country and then you either change nationality or whatever or if you don’t play for that certain country for three years, you still have a choice.  I haven’t played for anyone, I guess, since 2011, end of 2011 World Cup.  Obviously, going into the Olympics that will be five years, so I’ll still have a choice.”

Subsequent to Dawson’s comments last month, Olympic chiefs insisted that because McIlroy is from the North he has a decision to make. Asked if he saw that golf bosses were trying to take that choice out of his young hands and make his life easier, McIlroy said: “No, not really.

“I think the more it’s talked about, the more it’s just going to get blown up.  So I’d rather not really talk about it until the time that I have to decide what to do.”

The double-major winner also said he won’t be playing in the world cup this year.

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