Rory McIlroy: I may not play in Rio Olympics


World number one golfer Rory McIlroy has revealed that he may not play in the next Olympics.

The 23-year-old from Holywood would be eligible for selection by either Great Britain or Ireland at the 2016 Games in Rio.

However, in a BBC documentary, he said he may opt out of the Games because he does not want to offend anyone.

He said he was considering the options of playing for Britain or Ireland or not playing at all.

"I just think being from where we're from, we're placed in a very difficult position," he said.

'Play for Northern Ireland'

"I feel Northern Irish and obviously being from Northern Ireland you have a connection to Ireland and a connection to the UK.

"If I could and there was a Northern Irish team I'd play for Northern Ireland.

"Play for one side or the other - or not play at all because I may upset too many people… Those are my three options I'm considering very carefully."

At the moment he has not made a definite decision but has admitted he regrets the Olympic furore of last year when a newspaper claimed he would prefer to play for Team GB in Brazil.

"It was a moment, I don't want to say of weakness, but a moment of, I guess, frustration with it all," the County Down man said.

"People tune in to watch me play on TV and feel like they are connected to me in some way.

"I don't want to do repay them for their support with something they don't want me to do."

'Separate careers'

In the documentary, McIlroy's tennis star girlfriend, Caroline Wozniacki, also gives a unique insight into the couple's relationship.

"It's good that we both have our own separate careers," she said.

"We know how the other is feeling and the drive to always want to improve at sport, but at the same time one of us isn't sitting at home waiting for the other.

"People watch him play and win all these tournaments, but he hasn't changed a bit."

The programme, which includes contributions from Tiger Woods, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell, charts a remarkable 2012 for McIlroy during which he became world number one, claimed a second Major Championship - the US PGA - and went on to top the money list on both sides of the Atlantic.

McIlroy also explains the Ryder Cup drama when he almost missed his tee time for the match with America's Keegan Bradley.

"I have never been as worried, as nervous or as panicked going to the golf course," he said.

Rory: Being Number One will be screened on BBC1 on Thursday at 22:35 GMT.

More on this story

Around the BBC