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Rory McIlroy Reveals Telling Text Message Exchange With Justin Rose During The Olympics

Rory McIlroy Reveals Telling Text Message Exchange With Justin Rose During The Olympics
By PJ Browne Updated

In an interview with Paul Kimmage in the Sunday Independent, Rory McIlroy says that he resents the Olympics for the position it put him in.

In late 2009, an IOC vote passed making golf an Olympic sport for the 2016 and 2020 Games. Speculation began regarding who McIlroy would represent at the Rio Games - Ireland or Team GB.

Internal questions popped up for McIlroy - 'Who am I? Where am I from? Where do my loyalties lie? Who am I going to play for? Who do I not want to piss off the most?'

He eventually announced that he had decided to play for Ireland but then pulled out of the tournament three weeks beforehand, citing fears regarding the Zika virus. He now admits that how political his decision became meant playing 'wasn't worth the hassle'.

Following the Olympic golf tournament, in which Justin Rose won the gold medal, McIlroy sent a congratulations text to his fellow pro. Rose replied with a question, the answer to which many in the Rio clubhouse wanted to know.

I sent Justin Rose a text after he won, I think I still have the message: 'I'm happy for you, mate. I saw how much it means to you. Congratulations.' He said: 'Thanks very much. All the boys here want to know do you feel like you missed out?' I said: 'Justin, if I had been on the podium (listening) to the Irish national anthem as that flag went up, or the British national anthem as that flag went up, I would have felt uncomfortable either way.' I don't know the words to either of them; 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.

Patriotism is not a factor which motivates the world number two. He feels 'conflicted'. He's a Catholtic but Irish is a completely foreign language to him. (In the interview, he admits Googling 'anseo' when texted it by Kimmage.) He also feels 'very much 'Northern Irish''.

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Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

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