Saturday 20 December 2014

Photos: McIlroy brushes up on his hurling skills at Irish Open

Published 18/06/2014 | 18:21

Rory McIlroy practices his hurling skills on the 9th fairway during the 2014 Irish Open Golf Championship Pro-Am.
Rory McIlroy practices his hurling skills on the 9th fairway during the 2014 Irish Open Golf Championship Pro-Am.
Rory McIlroy, watched by playing partner Dermot Desmond, after hitting a golf ball with a hurley on the 9th fairway during the 2014 Irish Open Golf Championship Pro-Am.
Rory McIlroy hits a golf ball with a hurley on the 9th fairway during the 2014 Irish Open Golf Championship Pro-Am.
Rory McIlroy practices his hurling skills on the 9th fairway during the 2014 Irish Open Golf Championship Pro-Am. Fota Island, Cork.

On the day he declared for Ireland for the 2016 Olympics, Rory McIlroy picked the perfect time to perfect his hurling skills.

At the start of the ProAm, the Northern Ireland golfer was getting a different type of swing a practice run.

Earlier the golfer insisted his decision to represent Ireland at the 2016 Olympics took time to make but was proud to choose Ireland having been repeatedly linked with representing Great Britain in Rio.

"I see this as a continuation of what I have always done," the Northern Ireland-born star said.

The Major winner said that the issue of who to represent in the Olympic Games had dominated his thoughts over recent weeks given the build-up to the Brazil 2014 World Cup.

"I have been thinking about it a lot. I don't know if it is because the World Cup is in Brazil and I was thinking a couple of years down the line."

"I was thinking about all the times I have played for Ireland as a boy and everything."

"For me it is the right decision to play for Ireland."

The golfer received a round of applause from the assembled Irish media when he made his announcement at the Irish Open press conference in Fota Resort in Cork.

He is playing in the Pro-Am today.

Mr McIlroy said that while the decision was important to him, winning a Major still remains his primary goal ahead of an Olympic medal.

But he said that while golfers are professional athletes in a sport where money and funding is important, national representation is also something taken very seriously.

"People think that now you are playing golf for money, I am a professional. But you have this choice or this decision to make."

Mr McIlroy pointed out that golf, like major sports such as hockey and rugby, treat Ireland as one when it comes to sport.

"Their sports are huge...they view Ireland as one the same as we do in golf. I don't think there is any point to change that."

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