McDowell ‘sitting on fence over’ nationality

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GRAEME McDowell is taking no chances when it comes to making a decision about his own Olympic allegiances – he’s sitting on the fence.

After watching close friend Rory McIlroy suffer in recent weeks, McDowell claims simply that he will play for anyone who wants him, although he hopes the decision will somehow be taken out of his hands.

“I feel kind of bad for Rory that his post-BMW Championship press coverage was very much focused on his allegiance to which part of the world he was going to play for in the Olympics,” said McDowell, who has been preparing for next week’s Ryder Cup at his home in Florida.

“My take is that it is four years away. I’m hoping to be in a position where I can be selected for one of the teams [GB&NI or Ireland].

“But I don’t have an allegiance. I sit on the fence because that is where I have to sit. I come from a mixed religion background and I don’t want to upset my mum nor do I want to upset my dad. I don’t want to upset the people in Ireland and I don’t want to upset the British people.

“We are in a very unfortunate position in Northern Ireland in that we have one foot in each team. It’s a tough call. I feel sorry for Rory in that he is very much under the spotlight and has been coerced into making a call for an event which, let’s be honest, is four years down the road.

“It’s going to be interesting to see if we have to make the decision or if the Olympic committee will make that decision for us.”

McIlroy made headlines last week after indicating that he was likely to declare for GB&NI in the 2016 Rio Olympics. The comments caused a storm and he later issued a press release claiming that he had still to make a decision one way or the other.

McDowell, who is likely to partner McIlroy at some stage at next week’s Ryder Cup, said simply that it was a “horrible” position to be in.

“I will play for whatever team will take me but unfortunately you are always going to upset somebody when you state your allegiance one way or the other,” he added.