"We move forward with some other players" - Paul McGinley on McIlroy Olympics withdrawal

McGinley is Ireland's Olympic Golf Team Leader in Brazil

BY Daniel Kelly 13:42 Wednesday 22 June 2016, 13:42 22 Jun 2016

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Rory McIlroy will not be competing for Ireland this summer at the Olympic Games.

The Down native revealed on Wednesday morning, that he is to skip the first golf tournament in living memory, due to fears over the Zika virus. The news has gotten a mixed reaction from the Irish public.

Former Ryder Cup captain and Ireland's Olympic Golf Team Leader Paul McGinley spoke to Newstalk Lunchtime about McIlroy's decision.

"I understand it. I respect it. I'm disappointed with it, like all Irish people are. It's a health concern. It's a decision he has come to with his family. It's something that I did not have any influence over. He has reached his decision and we move forward with some other players.!"

Despite his withdrawal, McGinley revealed that McIlroy's decision was only made in the last few days. The 27-year-old was in regular contact with Team Ireland officials in the buildup to the Games.

McIlroy and Graeme McDowell represented Ireland at the World Cyp of Golf in 2009. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Getty Images/Stuart Franklin

"I discussed a lot of things with him. We discussed a lot the logistics regarding it. We have had a lot of conversations regarding Rio. He went down the road of getting fitted for his uniforms. His golf bag was delivered with his name on it. He has had the jabs. Everything you need to do when going to South America... Ten days ago, he was fully committed to go."

McGinley denied that McIlroy's withdrawal was due to doubts about competing for Ireland. He also qualifies to represent Great Britain in the Olympic Games.

"He is definitely committed to Ireland, he is certainly committed going forward with Ireland. Don't be surprised to see him putting his name forward again in four years time."

"Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell are the next two in line", McGinley confirmed. "Both of them have qualified and both will be the two players who will represent Ireland."

"Every Irishman and woman in the country is disappointed with his decision. We had got to respect that he made this decision for health reasons, and health reasons only."

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