Golf: McIlroy speaks after shot accidentally hits father
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Rory McIlroy admitted the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is ‘not much to look forward to’ and that he is ‘not a very patriotic guy’ ahead of this year’s Games. The four-time major winner will represent Ireland in Tokyo next week alongside teammate Shane Lowry.
The former world number one seemed less than enthusiastic about the prospect of becoming an Olympian at this year’s event following his tied-48th finish at this year’s Open Championship at Royal St George’s last week.
Following his final round at the final major of the year, McIlroy said: “I don’t know if there is much to look forward to [about the Olympics], It’s obviously going to be a very different environment.”
The British-Irish dual national will make his Open debut in Tokyo next week after pulling out of the event in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro due to an outbreak of the Zika virus at the Games.
However, despite the Covid-19 pandemic this time around the 32-year-old has elected to play in this year’s event not due to his patriotism, but because ‘it’s the right thing to do’ for the game of golf.
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He explained: “Look, I’m not a very patriotic guy. I’m doing it because I think it’s the right thing to do.
“I missed it last time and for golf to be an Olympic sport you need your best players there and I feel like I want to represent the game of golf more than anything else.”
Strict Covid-19 regulations will mean this year’s Games will look extremely different to those that have taken place in previous years, restricting athletes to remain within their isolation bubbles.
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In spite of this, McIlroy sees this large amount of free time as the perfect opportunity to tune up his golf game ahead of the remainder of the 2021 season, that includes the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits this September.
He added: “I’m looking forward to getting another week’s golf in and trying to get my game in shape, and as I said there is not much else to do there so 12 hours a day at the course hopefully I get my game in a bit better shape.
McIlroy will be one of 60 competitors competing in this year’s Men’s golf event, and travels to Tokyo second in the Olympic Golf Ranking, behind world-number-one Jon Rahm of Spain.
Men’s golf will get underway at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Tokyo next week, with the first round of play beginning on Wednesday, July 28 at 11.30pm BST.
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