Rory McIlroy admits he was wrong about golf in the Olympics.
Five years ago at The Open Championship, McIlroy addressed his decision to not participate in golf’s long-awaited return to the Olympics at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio.
He didn’t mince words, either.
“Honestly, I don't think it was as difficult a decision for me as it was for him (Jordan Spieth),” McIlroy said toward the tail end of his pre-Open presser at Royal Troon. “I don't feel like I've let the game down at all. I didn't get into golf to try and grow the game. I got into golf to win championships and win major championships, and all of a sudden you get to this point and there is a responsibility on you to grow the game, and I get that. But at the same time that's not the reason that I got into golf. I got into golf to win. I didn't get into golf to get other people into the game.
“But, look, I get where different people come from and different people have different opinions. But I'm very happy with the decision that I've made and I have no regrets about it. I'll probably watch the Olympics, but I'm not sure golf will be one of the events I watch.”
And when asked which events, McIlroy piled on: “Probably the events like track and field, swimming, diving – the stuff that matters.”
Fast forward to Saturday at Kasumigaseki Country Club: McIlroy is not only enjoying representing Ireland in the Olympics in Tokyo, but he’s also in the hunt for a Gold medal and already "looking forward to Paris."
So, naturally, McIlroy, who also infamously called the Ryder Cup an “exhibition” in his early pro days, was reminded of his lukewarm Olympics take from 2016.
“I'm thinking about that,” McIlroy said Saturday after firing a 4-under 67 to move to 11 under, three shots off the lead. “I need to give things a chance. I was speaking to my wife last night and saying maybe I shouldn't be so skeptical. But I think I need to do a better job of just giving things a chance, experiencing things, not writing them off at first glance.
“That's sort of a trait of mine, but like I'm happy to be proven wrong. I was proven wrong at the Ryder Cup, I've been proven wrong this week and I'm happy to say that.”