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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 2 October, 2014

McDowell expects to represent Ireland at 2016 Olympics

The Ulster golfer thinks his participation in the World Cup this week will be pivotal.

McDowell teeing off in China earlier this month.
McDowell teeing off in China earlier this month.
Image: STR/AP/Press Association Images

GOLFER GRAEME MCDOWELL says he is likely to be part of Ireland’s Olympic team at the 2016 Games in Brazil.

The Portrush native will line out for Ireland at the ISPS HANDA World Cup in Australia this week and, for that reason, admits he will probably do the same in three years’ time.

“I believe that me being here and representing Ireland will, you know, with the Olympic regulations, will mean that I will have to play for Ireland when it comes to the Olympics in 2016,” McDowell told the PGA Tour.

Much has been made of whether GMac and fellow Ulsterman Rory McIlroy would play for Ireland or Team GB. With both reluctant to commit, the pair asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to make the call.

McDowell knows it is a sensitive topic, but thinks the decision has now been made for him.

“It is a very touchy political and religious subject, one that myself and Rory have not really enjoyed answering questions about the last few years because it is very difficult to pick a side because you are going to end up upsetting someone from either side really,” McDowell added.

“We grew up wanting to wear the green jacket and have the golf bag with the Ireland logo on it … the Golf Union of Ireland looks after all the players in Ireland and I have always enjoyed being part of that. When it comes to the Olympic discussion, that raises some questions as to who we play for.

“I was always very much trying to sit the fence, again, because I really did not want to have to make that decision. So, you know, part of me feels relieved to not have to make that decision.”

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