McIlroy opting for UK would see more Irish at Games, says Harrington


Pádraig Harrington has reaffirmed his belief Rory McIlroy should declare for Britain at the 2016 Olympics to get as many golfers from the island of Ireland playing in the Games. The Dubliner conceded that he did not envy McIlroy his decision, but feels the “logical” choice would be for McIlroy to represent Britain, and in doing so free up an extra place on the Irish team.

As things stand, the player who would benefit would be Shane Lowry due to his position in the world rankings, and there is a certain merit to Harrington’s argument. But he freely admits logic will go out the window whatever McIlroy chooses to do.

“At the moment if Rory declared for the UK it would mean his good friend Shane Lowry would get into the Irish team,” Harrington explained in an interview with Sky Sports.

“Whereas, if Rory declares for Ireland Shane Lowry – his management stablemate and a friend of his – wouldn’t get to play in the Olympics. So there is a logical way of going about it.”

McIlroy had suggested that he was leaning towards declaring for Britain – having always felt “more British than Irish” – but subsequently insisted no decision has been made. It’s a no-win situation that Harrington is thankful he won’t find himself in, with McIlroy unable to please all of the people, all of the time.

“There’s no correct answer, there really isn’t,” he added. “It’s a horrible place to be. I don’t think anybody would like to have to make that decision, or be in his boots when it comes to it. But I guess that’s what being the world number one is all about. That’s why he gets paid the big bucks, to make these hard decisions at times.”

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