Rory McIlroy says he may not play at all in the 2016 Olympics in Rio to avoid controversy. (Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
No. 1 ranked golfer Rory McIlroy said he may not play at all in the 2016 Olympics, according to a report from USA Today. In an upcoming BBC documentary, McIlroy explained that he was in a difficult position regarding who he should represent in Rio:
"I just think being from where we're from, we're placed in a very difficult position. 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," McIlroy says in the documentary. "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."
McIlroy, 23, is a native of Holywood, Northern Ireland. He turned pro in 2007 and won the PGA Championship in 2012.
The Rio Olympics will be the first time golf will be included in the Games since 1904. The IOC decided to reinstate the sport during a meeting in 2009.