Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

McIlroy bides time over Olympic decision

Rory McIlroy has put the decision over who to represent in the 2016 Olympics to the back of his mind
CARMEL, IN - SEPTEMBER 09: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland poses with trophy after his victory at the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick Golf Club on September 9, 2012 in Carmel, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods shake hands during the Pro-Am of the BMW Championship in Carmel, California

Rory McIlroy has put talk of who he would represent at the Rio Olympics on the backburner as he looks to continue his stunning run of form.

The two-time major winner lifted the BMW Championship in Carmel on Sunday night - his second successive PGA title - but woke up to some stories about a supposed dispute over who he would turn out for when golf gains Olympic status in 2016.

Quotes attributed to the County Down-born 23-year-old said he felt "more British than Irish", suggesting he would look to be a part of the all-conquering Team GB in Brazil.

But McIlroy took to his official Twitter feed on Monday night to deliver a statement which said he had made no such decisions and was purely concentrating on golf.

"I am in an extremely sensitive and difficult position and I conveyed as much in a recent newspaper interview," he wrote. "I am a proud product of Irish golf and the Golfing Union of Ireland. I am also a proud Ulsterman who grew up in Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom. That is my background and always will be.

"I receive great support from both Irish and British fans alike and it is greatly appreciated."

Golf will be making its Games debut in Rio and although still some time away, a number of players have already been asked for their thoughts on it, but with a Ryder Cup less than three weeks away, world number one McIlroy is not entertaining talk of it, or of who he will be playing for when the time comes.

"I wish to clarify I have absolutely not made a decision regarding my participation on the next Olympics," he added.

"On a personal level, playing in the Olympics would be a huge honour. However, the Games in Rio are four years away and I certainly won't be making any decisions with regard to participation any time soon.

"My focus right now is on being the best player I can be, trying to win major championships and contributing to what will hopefully be a victorious Ryder Cup side."

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