McIlroy Likely To Play In Tokyo Games After Opting Out Of Rio
Rory McIlroy said he will "more likely than not" represent Ireland in the '20 Tokyo Games golf competition after opting out of the '16 tournament in Rio, according to Will Gray of GOLFCHANNEL.com. McIlroy, who is from Northern Ireland, garnered headlines in the lead-up to the '16 Games, first announcing his "intentions to represent Ireland and then withdrawing over concerns surrounding the Zika virus and the notion that he didn’t play professionally to 'grow the game.'” The issue "gets complicated for McIlroy when it comes to which country he would represent in Tokyo." Northern Ireland is part of the U.K., but McIlroy "represented Ireland in amateur competitions and would have the option to do so again in the Olympics." Qualification for the '20 Games will conclude with The Open Championship in '20 at Royal St. George’s, after which the field of 60 men "will be finalized" (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 5/14). In Ireland, Philip Reid notes the '16 event in Rio saw many male players "stay away due to concerns about the Zika virus." But those who did go "ensured a successful return and, going forward, it will feature on players’ wish lists" (IRISH TIMES, 5/15).