In a summer where many Irish sports fans have to watch wistfully as Euro 2020 rolls on without us, at least we live in hope that our national pride will be soothed when the Tokyo Olympics kicks off next month.
Those hopes have been given a boost by the news that Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry are now confirmed to be representing Ireland at the games this summer.
The Olympic golf rankings have been published this afternoon and McIlroy comes in sixth, following his five shot deficit behind US Open winner Jon Rahm at the weekend, while reigning Open champion Lowry is ranked 18th on the list.
A number of highly ranked players from the world rankings have been excluded on the basis that they have chosen not to compete in Tokyo, so it is exciting news for Ireland that McIlroy and Lowry have confirmed that they will be travelling to Japan.
— GOLFTV (@GOLFTV) June 22, 2021
Both McIlroy and Lowry had been due to represent Ireland at the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro but they withdrew before the tournament, citing the threat caused by the Zika virus in Brazil at the time as a deciding factor.
Padraig Harrington did represent Ireland at the 2016 games in Rio and he has been named as the first reserve for Ireland in this year's games should either McIlroy or Lowry be unable to take part.
The field for the tournament has some big names including Bryson Dechambeau and Justin Thomas, who make up two of four US representatives. Jon Rahm will represent Spain, with Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood togging out for Team GB. A total of 60 players will represent 36 countries in the men's competition which kicks off on July 29th.
Cover Images from Sportsfile.