Rory McIlroy wants to play for Ireland in Tokyo Games
18 May, 2019, 04:57 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
Rory McIlroy plans to represent Ireland at the 2020 Olympic Games. Let us know in the comments section, below. I've been around him a little bit down in Florida and my coach Neil [Manchip] is the team manager for the next Olympics so he has been talking to Neil about it.
The Irish team at the Tokyo Games will consist of the two top-ranked players in the world standings, as of 22 June 2020, and while McIlroy, now ranked inside the top five, is all-but guaranteed a place, Lowry is now the next best-placed Irish golfer and favourite to secure that second spot.
Golf returned to the Olympic programme, after a 112-year absence, in Rio in 2016, but McIlroy was one of several leading players who opted not to play due to concerns over the Zika virus.
Previously McIlroy has said he "resented" the Olympics for making him choose between Great Britain and Ireland, with the potential for stirring up controversy because of the long history of trouble between the nations over Northern Ireland.
"I think as a young boy it was always my dream to play for Ireland", McIlroy said.
I wanted to play for Ireland. "I was very proud to put on that shirt or that blazer. But yeah, right now in my mind I'll most likely play". We won the European Team Championships together and you never forget your amateur years, they were the best days of my life playing for Ireland.
"So then obviously when you put the Olympics into the equation and there's a choice to be made, you really have to start thinking, "okay, what are your beliefs and your values". It's not just a superficial decision", McIlroy said.
In an exclusive interview with Pundit Arena before this year's Masters tournament at Augusta National, Manchip spoke of the unusual circumstances surrounded McIlroy who has carried over his status as a child prodigy into world superstardom. "That was basically what it came down to".
He added: "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".
"I got a lot of stick about not playing in the last Olympics, but playing for Ireland means a whole lot to me".
"I have played a couple of times in the World Cup and I am really hoping that I can make the next Olympics and hopefully I can be Rory's partner". But it's one he now appears ready to make, reiterating that he's "excited to play for Ireland" next summer.
Qualification for the 2020 Olympics will conclude with The Open next summer at Royal St. George's, after which the field of 60 men will be finalized.
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