Rory McIlroy’s surprise decision to declare his interest in representing Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics is the latest example of “unpredictable Rory”, according to Paul McGinley.
McIlroy ruled himself out of the Rio Olympics in 2016 citing the risk of the Zika virus but later expressed his resentment towards the Olympics for attempting to force him into making a decision over representing Ireland or Great Britain.
“If I had been on the podium listening to the Irish national anthem as that flag went up, or the British national anthem, I would have felt uncomfortable either way.”, McIlroy said in 2016.
Former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley spoke to Off The Ball on Wednesday and said that McIlroy’s change of mind to now represent Ireland at next summer’s Olympics was characteristic but a decision to be welcomed.
“It’s another example of unpredictable Rory. Like everybody else I’m pleasantly surprised.”
“We don't know where he is going to go with things he changes his views on different things and he's certainly done this with the Olympics.”
“He was very strong the other way saying this shouldn’t be an Olympic sport, but now he's going to play in it. I think we should accept it in good faith the fact he has made his decision.”
McGinley also emphasised that unpredictability aside, McIlroy’s decision to play with Ireland and to feature in the Olympics is an exciting prospect for all involved.
“I think it's great for golf. It’s great for the Olympics, and it’s great for us in Ireland because now we have a legitimate chance of a gold medal in a high-profile sport.”
“I think he's made the right decision. In Ireland we are a disunited country in a lot of ways but when it comes to sport and particularly when it comes to gold we have always been very much united. It's great that he has made this decision.
“We take it and we move forward and hopefully things don't change between now and then and he does go and represent Ireland.”
“He’s one of the top players in the world his golf has been fabulous so far this year and if he’s in this kind of form we are all going to have a huge attention on golf next year in Tokyo.”