FORMER world No1 golfer Rory McIlroy has brought to an end years of speculation by committing to playing for Ireland and not Britain at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
The Northern Irishman, 25, revealed he had agonised over the decision but opted to stick with the country he has previously represented at the World Cup and in amateur competitions.
McIlroy said he had been “more worried about what other people would think, rather than me. But you’ve got to do what’s right for yourself and what you feel most comfortable with.”
He added: “I was always very proud to put on the Irish uniform and play as an amateur and as a boy, and I would be very proud to do it again.”
The two-time Major winner said the football World Cup had turned his thoughts to the next major sporting event to be staged in the South American country.
“I don’t know whether it’s been because the World Cup has been in Brazil and I've been thinking a couple of years down the line,” he added. “Thinking about all the times that I played as an amateur for Ireland and as a boy and everything, I think for me it’s the right decision to play for Ireland.”
McIlroy tees off today at the Irish Open, where England’s Paul Casey is aiming to defend his title.