Olympics

Rory McIlroy Seems To Have Changed Stance On Golf's Place In The Olympics

Rory McIlroy Seems To Have Changed Stance On Golf's Place In The Olympics

Rory McIlroy has not been shy in sharing his opinions on golf's place in the Olympics.

The Down native did not travel to the sport's return to the games in Rio in 2016, citing potential fears over the zika virus in Brazil. However, he later admitted that not wanting to choose between representing Ireland and Britain was a factor in his decision.

He also just doesn't seem that enthused by an Olympic golf tournament in general.

Speaking after The Open, McIlroy admitted he was not looking all that forward to the games and was travelling to Tokyo out of a duty to the sport.

I don’t know if there is much to look forward to. It’s going to be a very different environment...

I am not a very patriotic guy.

I am doing it because I think it is the right thing to do. I missed it last time, and for golf to be an Olympic sport, you need your best players there. I feel like I want to represent the game of golf more than anything else.

In fairness to McIlroy, he still travelled to Japan to represent Ireland alongside Shane Lowry.

He shot a score of -2 in the opening round overnight, leaving himself in decent shape to make a push for the podium over the remainder of the week.

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There is also a sense he could be changing his mind when it comes to his opinion on golf's place at the Olympics.

Speaking to the Golf Channel after his opening round, McIlroy admitted that being an Olympic athlete was not something he fully understand until he could experience it for himself.

I have never competed in an Olympics before. I was in London in 2012 for a little bit.

I think when you're a competitor and an athlete, and you sport is in the Olympics, you feel a part of something that's bigger than yourself, something that is bigger than your sport in general.

I think if I have learned anything already this week, it's that. You feel like you're a part of something bigger, which is a cool feeling.

He certainly seems to be warming to this event.

Hopefully he can really cement those feelings by winning a medal this weekend.

SEE ALSO: Team Ireland's Welcome For Victorious O'Donovan & McCarthy Is An Amazing Watch

Gary Connaughton

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