Rory McIlroy “Not Patriotic” About Ireland, Wants To “Represent Golf” at Olympics

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy reacts to his tee shot on the 17th hole during the second round of the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines GC on June 18, 2021 in San Diego, CA. (Photo by Harry How via Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy is not too thrilled with the whole Olympic commitment thing, and seems none too excited about playing for Ireland – saying, he’s “not a patriotic guy,” and is only participating to help grow the game.

“I don’t know if there’s much to look forward to,” said McIlroy on Sunday, after finishing T44 at The Open Championship.

“There’s going to be a very different environment. Looking forward to getting another week of golf in I guess – trying to get my game in shape (for the PGA Tour playoffs).

“As I said, there’s not much else to do there, so 12 hours a day at the golf course trying to get my game in better shape.”

As for representing Ireland, McIlroy said, “I’m not a patriotic guy. I’m doing it because I think it’s the right thing to do.

“I missed last time (2016) and, you know for golf to be an Olympic sport you need your best players there, and I feel like I want to represent the game of golf more than anything else.”

Ireland will at least have one patriot: 2019 Open winner Shane Lowry.

“I’m going over there, and trying to win a medal for my country,” said Lowry, who finished T12 in defense of his Open title.

“That’s the way I look at it. You know it’s a huge honor. And I’m very grateful I get to go to Tokyo and represent my country.

“I can’t wait. It’s going to be a great experience for my family and myself.

“And like I said, hopefully bring home a medal.”

We reached out to the Ireland Olympic committee for comment on McIlroy’s statement, but have not heard back.


  1. Now I’ve read that there is still a chance that the Olympics might be cancelled due to ever rising Covid cases among athletes, as well as in the Japanese population. With the FedEx playoffs coming up shortly maybe a few top golfers may realize that they could be jeopardizing the rest of their season if they go to Japan to engage in a useless exhibition and catch Covid. And there aren’t even any FedEx points involved.
    It doesn’t appear that Rory wants to play, but feels pressured to. I’ll bet that’s the case with many others. Let’s hope they don’t wind up being quarantined in Japan for two weeks.


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