'I'm more than just a flag' - McIlroy

Published Monday, 24 December 2012
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World number one Rory McIlroy has revealed that he is still undecided over what team he will choose when it comes to golfing at the Olympics in 2016, stating that he is "more than just a flag."

'I'm more than just a flag' - McIlroy
Rory McIlroy with the DP World Tour Championship and The Race to Dubai trophy. (© Getty)

Hailing from Holywood, Co Down, the golfer has the option of joining Team GB or Team Ireland if he decides to compete at the Rio de Janeiro games.

In a documentary with RTÉ, which will be aired on Thursday, the 23-year-old discusses the controversy which arose earlier this year when he told the Daily Mail that he felt more British than Irish.

He then penned an open letter discussing his allegiance dilemma on Twitter.

"Whatever I do, I know my decision is going to upset some people but I just hope the vast majority will understand," it read.

He added: "I am a proud product of Irish golf and the Golfing Union of Ireland and am hugely honoured to have come from very rich Irish sporting roots.

"I am also a proud Ulsterman who grew up in Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.

"That is my background and always will be."

In Thursday's programme, entitled 'Rory McIlroy - The Interview' he admits that being from Northern Ireland puts him in a difficult position.

The European Tour golfer of the year added that he didn't want to let anyone down or upset anyone over a choice he'd made.

However, McIlroy says he feels that he is "more than just a flag."

"I play golf and I'm an international sportsperson and it doesn't tie me to one flag or one allegiance," he said.

© UTV News
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44 Comments
s magowan in belfast wrote (664 days ago):
Tomc are sports like Gealic Games,Rugby,Ladies and Mens hockey not politicised on this Island?
michael in belfast wrote (665 days ago):
looks like us walks like us talks like us. who cares. as long as he doesn't end up 2 weeks in america and adopting the accent. now that would be upsetting
Tomc in Belfast wrote (665 days ago):
In just over 300 years we're still a backward nation looking to the past to justify them and us views. In less time Australia was colonised, did worse, and yet continues to look forward as it's economy gets stronger. Just goes to show what kind of attitude the people of this dungheap has living in it. Do you seriously think that the pittance people spend here, actually makes a dent in Rory's pocket change? Wise up and let the man play his sport....only in this country would people try to politicise a golfer...you couldn't make it up!
liam in Belfast wrote (666 days ago):
Yeah, but you aer a walking Billboard who dances to the most ££$$ Ching Ching!!
Steffan in Belfast wrote (666 days ago):
To Marty in Singapore who states 'Let him be just another brit in America or Asia...' I don't see how Rory is going be 'just another' anything. He has the potential to be one of the greatest golfers of all time, world number one for many years and multiple master winner. No 'just another' anything. I also laugh at the vast majority of people here who state that they don't care who he plays for, then go on to say as long as it is Team Ireland and call the Ulster flag he represents so proudly sectarian. Its a sorry states of affairs in this country, this country being Northern Ireland btw, not the North of Ireland, but our provincial narrow mindedness should not be thrust upon this worldwide sportsman. he should be a role model for young kids in Northern Ireland, ROI, and all of GB. He's a good guy and should not be tarnished by other peoples sectarian beliefs. I agree with Ady in Cookstown, if he represnt the IOC and fly their flag then maybe that would send a signal to the powers that be to sort out this national representation issue as all our sports people get dragged into this same debate eveery time they have a choice to make. Sort it out so that there is no choice. You represent the country you were born in. Simple.
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