McIlroy opts to represent Ireland at 2020 Olympics admitting 'I made it more difficult for myself'

McIlroy opts to represent Ireland at 2020 Olympics admitting 'I made it more difficult for myself'

Rory McIlroy has said he will play golf at the Olympics for Ireland.

The Holywood native told the Golf Channel that he was "excited" to play at the Games in 2020.

McIlroy had been due to play for Ireland in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, but he withdrew due to fears around the Zika virus.

He said at the time: "Even though the risk of infection from the Zika virus is considered low, it is a risk nonetheless and a risk I am unwilling to take."

Now, McIlroy is ready to play at the Tokyo games next year.

"I’m excited to play the Olympics and call myself an Olympian," he said, speaking to the Golf Channel in Japan ahead of the Zozo Championship.

"Coming to such a golf-crazy country like Japan helps.

"It’s a really good atmosphere and just being here this week and seeing the enthusiasm of the fans makes me look forward to coming back next year and playing the Olympics."

McIlroy also explained the difficulties around deciding whether to play for Ireland or Great Britain.

"I think I made it more difficult for myself than I needed to," said the 30-year-old.

"My feeling's toward it were more 'what will people think?' And once I got that out of my head, I really just tried to do what was right for me. Then it became easy.

So it was me wrestling with all those things and as I said previously, once I left the not trying to upset anyone - once I left that aside - then it was actually a pretty easy decision.

"And the decision was I'm going to play golf for the country or the nation that I've always played golf for. Through my junior days, my amateur days and now into the professional game.

"Even though the Olympics is giving me this choice, there really wasn't a choice because all I've done throughout my life was play golf for Ireland.

"And why would that change just because the tournament's changed?"

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