McIlroy: I don’t want to be tied to one flag or one allegiance

World No 1 golfer Rory McIlroy has opened up about his Olympic dilemma to reveal he doesn’t want to be tied to one flag.

The 23-year-old is in an impossible position when it comes to choosing whether to represent Ireland or Britain at Rio 2016 when golf becomes an Olympic sport for the first time.

In a revealing RTÉ documentary, Rory McIlroy – The Interview, the sports star from the North admits that he doesn’t want to upset people in either country.

He said: “It’s a tough one. Being from Northern Ireland it brings its own difficulties whenever you have to choose who to play for or an allegiance.

“I know that people before me have had to deal with this problem too. It’s just a difficult position to be in because you don’t want to let anyone down and you don’t want to upset anyone with a choice that you make.”

The golf superstar unwittingly stirred up a huge controversy in September when he said in an interview that he was leaning toward representing X Britain rather than Ireland.

It caused a huge furore with his twitter followers and even seasoned commentators vented their dismay at his statement.

But in an open letter on twitter a day later, he clarified his position and insisted he wasn’t ready to make any decision about Rio in the immediate future.

McIlroy said he doesn’t feel he wants to be just defined by the Tricolour or the Union Jack in his sports career.

He said: “I feel I’m more than just a flag. I play golf and I’m an international sports person and it doesn’t tie me to one flag or one allegiance.

“It has just been a tough position to be put in.”

In the frank interview with Greg Allen, Rory McIlroy looks back on his brilliant year from his ascent to the top of the world rankings to his subsequent slump in form and regaining the No 1 ranking with his second major championship,

* Rory McIlroy: The Interview will be shown on RTÉ on Thursday, Dec 27 at 9pm.


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