• Olympic golf boosted by Rory’s U-turn

    Rory McIlroy
    Rory's putter is hot again

    The 2020 Olympic Golf tournament is likely to see the majority of the world’s best players, including Rory McIlroy, after the four-time Major champion’s latest comments.

    The Northern Irishman skipped Rio 2016 and shortly thereafter intimated that he wouldn’t peg it up in the follow-up in Tokyo in 2020.

    The world No 4, though, has seemingly changed his mind, stating that he will ‘more likely than not’ play when the Olympic Games head to Japan next year.

    ‘I think it would be a great experience,’ he said.

    McIlroy went further to suggest that his schedule around the showpiece has already been mapped out with little time allocated to warming up on the course.

    ‘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 up on a Thursday, and then we’ve got to get ready for the rest of the season. 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.’

    The question of which badge he will don – Ireland or Team Great Britain – has also been figured out, with McIlroy opting for the country he represented at amateur level.

    ‘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… it makes you sort of have to delve a little bit deeper,’ he said.

    ‘It’s not just a superficial decision. It’s something that you have to really believe in.’

    ‘I think as a young boy it was always my dream to play for Ireland. I wanted to play for Ireland. I was very proud to put on that shirt or that blazer. 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, ‘confirmed McIlroy.

    On Thursday, McIlroy will begin his quest for a third PGA Championship win at 7:38pm with Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

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