Tuesday 24 April 2018

'It's a little more complicated for me': McIlroy hints that 'politics' played a part in Olympics decision

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Rory McIlroy has shed further light on his decision not to participate in the Olympic games, referring to the 'complicated' issue of deciding to represent the Republic of Ireland.

The four-time Major champion, who was born in Northern Ireland, had the choice to play for either Team Ireland or Great Britain, and chose Ireland after a lengthy deliberation process.

Read more: 'A tsunami just hit my bank account!': Rory McIlroy's caddie earned a huge amount of money after the FedEx Cup win

Hopes were high that McIlroy would bring home gold at the Rio games, but the golfer withdrew in the build-up, citing concerns over the Zika virus.

However, when asked today at a press conference in China for the HSBC champions tournament, McIlroy hinted that the divisive issue of choosing which flag to represent could have also influenced his decision.

"The participation in the Olympics, for me it's just a little more complicated than for some other people, (because of) where I'm from and the whole politics of the thing," McIlroy said, in quotes reported by the AFP.

"It's a difficult subject for me."

He also revealed that his caddie, JP Fitzgerald, pocketed close to €1 million from his cut of McIlroy's Tour Championship and FedEx Cup winnings. The Northern Irishman is hoping for a late charge on the European Tour to scoop the Race of Dubai bonus to go along with his mammoth stateside winnings.

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