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SBD Global/April 25, 2013/Olympics
Royal & Ancient Instructs Golfer Rory McIlroy To Represent Ireland At Rio Olympics
Published April 25, 2013
PICK A SIDE: The BBC reported the 23-year-old golfer grew up in Holywood, County Down, on the outskirts of east Belfast in Northern Ireland and "would be eligible to play for either Great Britain or Ireland for the Rio Games" (BBC, 4/24). In London, Kevin Garside wrote McIlroy's absence "would have been a huge blow for a sport keen to use the Olympics as a platform to grow the game in a part of the world where participation is low." The Olympic tournament will be a conventional 72-hole strokeplay event, "with a pledge to review the format if it proves unsuitable in the Olympic setting." Dawson "expects all the leading players to participate." Construction of the course, the late start to which was also a concern for the R&A, "can finally begin after the relevant permits were issued by the Brazilian authorities last week" (INDEPENDENT, 4/24).
PLAYING BY THE RULES: Also in London, James Corrigan wrote Dawson has been in discussions with the IOC, "with which he holds a lot of sway," and with McIlroy himself. Dawson: "Because of Rory's history of playing for Ireland at amateur level and I think as a professional in the World Cup there may be a regulation within the Olympic rules that would require him to stay with that and play for Ireland. There is a rule in the Olympics that a player who has represented one nation at a previous world championship for a certain country will carry on with them." That would apply to McIlroy, "who played for Ireland in the world championship at both amateur and professional levels and in the World Cup of Golf as a pro." McIlroy "was unavailable for comment on Tuesday" (TELEGRAPH, 4/24).