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Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 21 May, 2019

'If I could play for Northern Ireland I would' - McIlroy ponders opting out of Olympics

The County Down golfer has revealed that he may give the Rio Games a miss altogether in a BBC documentary which will air tonight.

Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images

RORY MCILROY HAS revealed that he may opt out of competing at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

The world number one golfer, who is eligible to represent Ireland and Britain, has said in the past that he is finding it extremely difficult to choose who to play for at the Games in four year’s time – when golf makes its Olympic debut.

The 23-year-old admitted last year that he felt “more British than Irish” but has since reconsidered his position and referred to himself as an “international sportsman” as opposed to one who is attached to a single country.

And in a BBC documentary which will air tonight, McIlroy has now claimed that he may not play at all in Brazil.

“I just think being from where we’re from, we’re placed in a very difficult position,” McIlroy said. ”I feel Northern Irish and obviously being from Northern Ireland you have a connection to Ireland and a connection to the UK.

If I could and there was a Northern Irish team I’d play for Northern Ireland.

“Play for one side or the other – or not play at all because I may upset too many people. Those are my three options I’m considering very carefully.”

The programme, which features interviews with McIlroy’s girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki, Tiger Woods, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell, will be screened at 10.35pm tonight on BBC1.

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Ben Blake

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