“You feel like you’re a part of something bigger, which is a cool feeling.”
Rory McIlroy has offered his thoughts on the Olympics golf tournament after his first round in Tokyo. McIlroy was previously lukewarm on the idea of golf at the Games and opted against playing at Rio 2016 when he cited fears over the Zika virus.
He has decided to play in the tournament in Tokyo, where he is representing Ireland, and appears to be warming to the idea of the Games. The Northern Irish golfer said he was enjoying being part of the Olympics.
Rory McIlroy on playing in the Olympic Games.
“We’re staying in a hotel and the U.S. basketball team are there. We got a couple of German athletes. We’re on the range today and we heard that Ireland won the gold medal in the rowing,” McIlroy said after his first round in Tokyo.
“We’re trying to concentrate a lot on what you’re doing, but you’re also really interested in everything else that’s going on around you. So, I think that’s the very cool part about it (the Olympics).
— Golf Monthly (@GolfMonthly) July 29, 2021
“You’re competing in Olympic games but 30 minutes down the road everyone else is competing as well,” he continued.
“I think that’s the thing that, maybe not being in the Olympics last time, I didn’t understand…
“Like when your sport is in the Olympics, and you’re all a part of something that’s a bit bigger than yourself and your sport, and that’s a great thing.”
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— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) July 29, 2021
Rory McIlroy on the Olympics.
Earlier in the week, McIlroy was asked what it would mean to win gold at the Olympics. He said he wasn’t sure as he had never dreamed of winning at the Games growing up. Golf returned to the Olympics in 2016 after a 112-year absence.
“I don’t know what it would mean,” he said.
“I never dreamed of that. I dreamed of Claret Jugs and green jackets. I never dreamed of winning the Olympics, so I don’t know what it would mean until you actually got one.
“It’s a hard one to put into words. If it wasn’t an option for you growing up and dreaming about it, so what’s the …. maybe I could articulate it a little better if I was in possession of one.”
Rory McIlroy’s opening round at the Olympics.
McIlroy, 32, finished on -2 for his first round at the Kasumigaseki County Club in Tokyo before play was suspended due to lightning. He was on the 14th hole when play was stopped.
Shane Lowry, McIlroy’s Ireland teammate, finished on -1 for the day. Play resumes in the early hours of Friday Irish time. Austrian golfer Sepp Straka is the overnight leader on -8.