McIlroy leans toward playing for Ireland at Tokyo 2020

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy

Shane Lowry is delighted that Rory McIlroy has chose to represent Ireland at next year's Olympic Games and the Offaly man is hoping that he will be the man to partner the world number four in Tokyo.

McIlroy is from Holywood near Belfast in Northern Ireland and would be eligible to compete for Great Britain in Japan, but he made the decision ahead of Rio 2016 to play for Ireland, which he represented numerous times in his amateur days.

Speaking at Bethpage on Tuesday as he prepared for the US PGA Championship, McIlroy explained that he plans to retain a team commitment to Ireland that has existed throughout his golf career.

"I think it would be a great experience", said McIlroy.

However, he subsequently admitted that backlash over whether he would play for Ireland was a factor.

McIlroy's comments followed by Manchip's statement puts to bed the issue on whether or not the Co.

Before declaring his allegiance for Ireland in 2014, McIlroy had the choice to represent Britain but speaking to reporters in NY this week, the 30-year-old revealed his plans to fulfil his dream of playing for Ireland in Tokyo. "I was very proud to put on that shirt or that blazer", McIlroy said. At an event in New York, The42.ie reports that he said, "More likely than not, I will play". "It's not just a superficial decision", McIlroy said.

"You've got somebody like Rory who was a real child prodigy, brilliant from the day he started playing golf and has kept that up". That was all because of playing for Ireland and getting close to some of those guys.

"We don't know where he is going to go with things he changes his views on different things and he's certainly done this with the Olympics".

"As a young boy it was always my dream to play for Ireland. So it's going to be cool".

The Northern Ireland sports star first declared for Ireland in 2014, stating that he views golf as an all-island sport, similar to the way the national Irish rugby team fields an all-island team. "We're playing at a golf course I like that I've had some experience on". "Yes", said the Masters champion at Bethpage.

Woods was asked during his PGA Championship press conference at Bethpage State Park in NY if he would play in Japan if he qualified for the USA team.

"It would be a first for me". 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. As it happened, numerous world's top players decided against competing in Brazil due to the threat the Zika virus posed.

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