Rory McIlroy believes he may only have two chances to win an Olympic medal unless there is a change in attitude to the sport’s return to the Games.
Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Vijay Singh have all made themselves unavailable for selection for this summer’s Games in Rio, when golf is included in the programme for the first time since 1904.
Scott had previously said winning an Olympic medal was nothing he had ‘’ever aspired to do’’ and questioned the 72-hole strokeplay format for what he called ‘’an exhibition event,’’ while Oosthuizen cited “family and schedule issues” and Singh also expressed concern about the Zika virus.
McIlroy said in January that major championships would always be more important to him than an Olympic medal, but asked yesterday why he would be playing in Rio, the 27-year-old said: “Two reasons - Because of how it’s being approached in golf circles, it’s being played in Rio this year and Tokyo in 2020, I’m not sure if we’re going to have another opportunity to win a gold medal after that, depending on what happens.
“The second thing - Paul McGinley is the Irish team captain and he is so into it. He’s more into it than I am quite honestly, but because he is, I would feel like I am not only letting him down, I’d let the country down as well. Paul is a very close friend of mine and if I didn’t play I’d let him down big time.”