McIlroy 'more likely than not' to play in '20 Olympics
Field Level Mediaon
Rory McIlroy said Tuesday that it is "more likely than not" he will play in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The 30-year-old Northern Irishman declined to play in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and he said previously that he was unlikely to play in Tokyo. While stopping short of committing to the Games next summer, McIlroy did acknowledge that he has given it more thought.
"I just saw it was announced that the British Masters is that week next year," McIlroy said when asked at his press conference at the PGA Championship. "No, I don't know. More likely than not I will play (in the Olympics).
"I think it would be a great experience. We're going to play the Open (Championship) and then probably go back to Memphis and then go to Tokyo. So it's sort of going to be one of those deals where we probably get in on Tuesday, tee it up on a Thursday, and then we've got to get ready for the rest of the season."
McIlroy created a controversy late last year when he indicated he might give up his European Tour card to focus on the PGA Tour. That potentially would put any future captaincy of the European Ryder Cup team in jeopardy, and McIlroy later revised his schedule and is expected to meet the minimum requirements of the European Tour.
However, he was still considered to be on the fence about the next Olympics until asked about it Tuesday.
"It's just one of those things where it's just in the middle of a really busy stretch," he said. "But yeah, right now in my mind I'll most likely play."
He also put to rest any question about which country he would represent. McIlroy has the choice of competing on the British or Irish teams since Northern Ireland does not have its own Olympic team. He chose the Irish team in 2016 before withdrawing. McIlroy cited the Zika virus as a concern at the time, although some believed the need to choose one country to represent over another played a role.
"I'm excited to play for Ireland," he said Tuesday. "I'm excited that Neil Manchip, who was our national coach when I was an amateur, is going to lead the team. I don't know who might be going on that team, as well, whether it's Shane (Lowry) or Seamus (Power) or whoever, but yeah, I'm excited for it.
"It's going to be a great experience, and probably a little bit nostalgic because it'll bring me back to 15 years ago, whenever I was doing that with the same people, with Neil, with Shane. So it's going to be cool."