Golf

McIlroy 'resents' the Olympic Games

2017-01-09 09:25
Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Rory McIlroy has revealed that he "resents" the Olympic Games for making him pick between Team GB or Team Ireland.

The Northern Irishman withdrew from the Rio Olympics in the build-up to the event- citing the Zika virus as his primary concern - but had previously chosen to represent Team Ireland.

It was the first time that golf was part of an Olympic Games for 112 years and McIlroy insists the whole competition left a sour taste in his mouth

"Olympic golf to me doesn't mean that much - it really doesn't. I don't get excited about it. And people can disagree, and have a different opinion, and that's totally fine," McIlroy told the independent.ie website.

"It put me in a position where I had to question who I am. 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 p*** off the most?

"I started to resent it. And I do. I resent the Olympic Games because of the position it put me in - that's my feeling towards it - and whether that's right or wrong, it's how I feel."

McIlroy wasn't the only high-profile name to pull out of Rio, with Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson all choosing to miss out.

And the 27-year-old admits he told gold medalist Justin Rose that he would have felt "uncomfortable" had he been on the podium.

"I sent Justin Rose a text after he won," McIlroy continued.

"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.

"Not everyone is (driven by) nationalism and patriotism and that's never been me, because I felt like I grew up in a place where I wasn't allowed to be."

Read more on:    olympic games  |  rory mcilroy  |  golf
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