Rory McIlroy. Lee Jin-man
Pledge of Allegiance

'All I've done is play golf for Ireland so why would that change?' - McIlroy commits to 2020 Olympics

The 30-year-old pulled out of competing at the Rio Games in 2016.

RORY MCILROY INSISTS the decision to represent Ireland at next year’s Olympics was an easy one as soon as he put “trying not to upset anyone” to one side. 

The former world number one withdrew from the Rio Games in 2016, citing issues over the threat of the Zika virus. 

Back in May, McIlroy revealed that he would “more than likely” participate in Tokyo and now he has confirmed his plans to. 

Eligible to play for both Ireland and Team GB, the County Down native also says he never intended to switch allegiance. 

“I think it [the decision to represent Ireland] was difficult up until the point that it wasn’t, if that makes sense,”McIlroy told the Golf Channel. “I made it more difficult for myself than I needed to. 

“My feeling towards it were more ‘What will other people think?’. Once I got that out of my head and just tried to do what was right for me, it became easy. It was me wrestling with all of those things. 

“Once I left trying not to upset anyone to aside, then it was actually a pretty easy decision. I’m going to play golf for the country or the nation that I’ve always played for — through my junior and amateur days and now into the professional game. 

Even though the Olympics has given me this choice, there really wasn’t a choice because all I’ve done throughout my life is play golf for Ireland so why would that change just because the tournament has changed.”

“I’m excited to play the Olympics and call myself an Olympian,” he added. “Coming to such a golf-crazy country like Japan helps.

“It’s a really good atmosphere and just being here this week and seeing the enthusiasm of the fans makes me look forward to coming back next year and playing the Olympics.”

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