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Dublin: 19 °C Tuesday 22 July, 2014

McIlroy plays it safe on Olympic allegiances

Rory McIlroy says that he will take as much time as possible before committing to either Great Britain or Ireland for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Image: ChinaFotoPress/Photocome/Press Association Images

RORY MCILROY IS refusing to commit to either the British or the Irish team for the 2016 Olympic Games until he absolutely has to.

Golf becomes an official Olympic sport in four years’ time and McIlroy is bound to be one of the star attractions in Rio de Janeiro.

Athletes from Northern Ireland are eligible to represent either Ireland or Great Britain at the Games, putting the 22-year-old from Hollywood, County Down at the centre of a high-profile tug o’war over his national allegiance.

“Basically, if I am going to be very honest, which I usually am, whatever I say is going to upset someone,” McIlroy said when asked about his Olympic intentions (see PGA.com).

So I may as well just say I don’t know and wait until four or five years’ time, whenever I have to make a decision.

Regardless of who he declares for, McIlroy is looking forward to challenging for Olympic honours.

The world’s top 15 golfers are guaranteed a place in the 60-man field while the remainder of the places will be divided based on ranking to ensure a diverse spread of nationalities.

“It would be a huge honor to represent your country,” McIlroy said. “It would be a great achievement to win a gold medal.”

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