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McIlroy And Lowry Seemed Keen To Keep Flags Away From Zurich Celebrations

McIlroy And Lowry Seemed Keen To Keep Flags Away From Zurich Celebrations
Donny Mahoney
By Donny Mahoney Updated
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It was a triumphant weekend for Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry in New Orleans. An idea was hatched between the pair in the drunken afterglow of the 2023 Ryder Cup triumph to team up again in the PGA Tour's only team golf event. It was an inspired decision.

It might not have been the most competitive field that the duo will encounter on the tour this year, but the playoff win was sweet and vital in terms of the rest of the season. McIlroy gets a 25th win on the PGA Tour and a much-needed victory after a middling (by his own standards) start to 2024. For Lowry, there's the bonus of access to all of the signature events on the PGA Tour in 2024.

The win was properly celebrated as you'd expect and we even got to see a rare glimpse into McIlroy's karaoke skills.

One moment during those celebrations has provoked some online interest.

In the middle of the Journey performance, a videographer on stage tries to hand McIlroy a tricolour.

McIlroy politely declines the offer.

Lowry then takes the flag and throws it into the crowd with a big grin on his face.


You can see it here around 1.18.

Rory McIlroy - 'I don't want it to be about flags'

Perhaps the nuances of Northern Ireland identity were lost on some of the revelers at the Zurich Classic, but it's no surprise to see McIlroy turn down the opportunity to wave the tricolour. The Co. Down man has spent most of his career avoiding any flagwaving due to his public prominence and the obvious political sensitivities of the tricolour and the Union Jack in Northern Ireland.

For nearly as long as he's been a professional golfer, McIlroy's tried to avoid affiliation with the flag of Ireland or the United Kingdom.


As he told the Sunday Independent in 2016:

“I don’t know the words to either anthem. I don’t feel a connection to either flag. I don’t want it to be about flags; I’ve tried to stay away from that.

This small moment from the celebrations is a reminder of a hugely complex issue that McIlroy has had to grapple with throughout his career. It's been a tightrope walk for him. After getting burned a few times in the media over this topic, he's managed to rise above it. He's a product of the Golfing Union of Ireland, which governs the sport across the entire island, and has represented Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics, as he did throughout his amateur career. By and large, people from both communities have come to accept his position and come to grips with his decision not to align himself with any side.


Interestingly, McIlroy and Lowry will be both representing Ireland this summer at the Paris Olympics.

It would be fascinating to see McIlroy on that gold medal podium as Ambhrán na bhFiann plays and the tricolour is raised. We're pretty sure McIlroy would handle the moment perfectly.

SEE ALSO: Rory McIlroy Explains How Tokyo Changed His Perspective On Olympics





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