McIlroy decidedly lukewarm on golf's Olympic return

Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:02pm EDT
 
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By Tony Jimenez

TROON, Scotland (Reuters) - Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy may not watch the golf event on television when it returns to the Olympics next month and hinted on Tuesday it was not one of the sports that would matter in Rio de Janiero.

Unlike world number three Jordan Spieth, who said earlier in the day that he agonized over his decision to withdraw from the Olympics, McIlroy said he was fully comfortable with his choice to opt out of golf's Games comeback after a 112-year absence.

"I don't think it was as difficult a decision for me as it was for him," the Northern Irishman told a news conference ahead of the 145th British Open that starts on Thursday.

"I'm very happy with the decision I made and I've no regrets about it. I'll probably watch the Olympics but I'm not sure golf will be one of the events I watch."

Asked which competitions he would view on television, McIlroy replied: "Probably the events like track and field, swimming, diving, the stuff that matters."

None of the world's top four golfers will play in Rio after Jason Day and Dustin Johnson also decided to opt out.

Fourth-ranked McIlroy said he did not feel as though he was letting his sport down. "I didn't get into golf to try and grow the game," explained the 27-year-old. "I got into golf to win championships, and major championships.

"All of a sudden you get to this point and there is a responsibiity on you to grow the game, and I get that, but at the same time that's not the reason I got into golf.   Continued...

 
Golf - British Open - Practice Round - Royal Troon, Scotland, Britain - 12/07/2016. Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland smiles during a news conference. REUTERS/Craig Brough