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McIlroy leans toward playing for Ireland at Tokyo 2020

The Associated Press FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Rory McIlroy will likely go to the 2020 Olympics and represent Ireland.

The 30-year-old from Northern Ireland disclosed his decision Tuesday, two days before the start of the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black.

McIlroy skipped the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016 in part because he felt the Olympics were forcing him to decide whether he would represent Britain or Ireland. Northern Ireland is part of Britain.

McIlroy cited the outbreak of the Zika virus as part of his concern in attending the Rio Games, but he also said making a choice about which country he would represent wasn’t worth the hassle.

The four-time major champion has settled his internal issue.

“I’ve thought about that for a long time, and in the end, it was the fact that when I was a little boy and I got that first call-up to the national squad to go on to Citywest and be a part of the youth system or the boys or whatever, you know, and making that team and playing in home internationals, I was so proud to do that,” McIlroy said of playing for Ireland.

“So why would it be any different just because it’s a different golf tournament or because it’s a different arena or a different environment?” he added. “That was basically what it came down to ...

“I’m excited to be going to the Olympics. I’m excited to play for Ireland,” McIlroy said.

McIlroy also is thrilled because Neil Manchip is the Irish national coach. He was the national coach when McIlroy was first selected to play for Ireland and he also is excited at the prospect of playing with some of his former teammates.Speech

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