Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy to represent Ireland at Olympics

Field for the men’s event at Kasumigaseki Country Club was confirmed this week

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry have been confirmed as Ireland’s two representatives for the Tokyo Olympics golf event which will run from July 29th to August 1st.

The 60-strong field for the men’s event at the Kasumigaseki Country Club was confirmed after the US Open while the women’s field - where Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow look certain to carry the Irish flag - will be finalised after this weekend’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

Both Lowry and McIlroy will be making their first appearances in the Olympics after both declined the opportunity to play for Ireland in Rio de Janeiro five years ago, citing concerns about the Zika virus. On that occasions Pádraig Harrington and Séamus Power took up the mantle for Ireland.

McIlroy has previously spoken about his difficulties in whether to represent Britain or Ireland or whether to simply avoid the event altogether but the four-time Major winner confirmed in 2019 that he will play under the tricolour.

The field was selected on the basis of the world rankings but with the proviso that no nation can select more than four golfers and no more than two if they are ranked outside the top 15. Lowry is currently ranked 18th in the world while McIlroy, whose US Open hopes faded on the back nine on Sunday, is sixth. For Spain, new US Open champion and world number one Jon Rahm will lead the charge alongside Rafa Cabrera-Bello.

With a number of the world’s best players, including Dustin Johnson, Lee Westwood, Matt Fitzpatrick and Adam Scott already announcing that they would not be playing the event, the confirmation of the lineup for some countries went right down to the wire.

After Sunday’s final round at Torrey Pines, Spain’s Sergio Garcia, South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen and Germany’s Martin Kaymer also declined their invites.

With Johnson already out of the picture the US team will be made up of Bryson Dechambeau, Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele, with Patrick Cantlay as first reserve.

Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood will represent Britain while 2016 gold medal winner, Justin Rose, will be their first alternate.

Olympic men’s golf field

Jon Rahm (ESP)

Justin Thomas (USA)

Collin Morikawa (USA)

Xander Schauffele (USA)

Bryson DeChambeau (USA)

Rory McIlroy (IRL)

Viktor Hovland (NOR)

Hideki Matsuyama (JPN)

Paul Casey (GBR)

Abraham Ancer (MEX)

Sungjae Im (KOR)

Cameron Smith (AUS)

Joaquin Niemann (CHI)

Tommy Fleetwood (GBR)

Corey Conners (CAN)

Victor Perez (FRA)

Garrick Higgo (RSA)

Shane Lowry (IRL)

Marc Leishman (AUS)

Christiaan Bezuidenhout (RSA)

Siwoo Kim (KOR)

Carlos Ortiz (MEX)

Mackenzie Hughes (CAN)

Sebastian Munoz (COL)

Guido Migliozzi (ITA)

Emiliano Grillo (ARG)

Rikuya Hoshino (JPN)

Antoine Rozner (FRA)

Thomas Detry (BEL)

Alex Noren (SWE)

Thomas Pieters (BEL)

Kalle Samooja (FIN)

Matthias Schwab (AUT)

Rasmus Hojgaard (DEN)

Sami Valimaki (FIN)

Jazz Janewattananond (THA)

Jhonattan Vegas (VEN)

Francesco Molinari (ITA)

Henrik Norlander (SWE)

Rafa Cabrera Bello (ESP)

Guillermo Mito Pereira (CHI)

Joachim Hansen (DEN)

Rory Sabbatini (SVK)

Sepp Straka (AUT)

Ryan Fox (NZL)

C.T. Pan (TPE)

Adrian Meronk (POL)

Maximilian Kieffer (GER)

Juvic Pagunsan (PHI)

Ondrej Lieser (CZE)

Scott Vincent (ZIM)

Gunn Charoenkul (THA)

Hurly Long (GER)

Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR)

Rafael Campos (PUR)

Gavin Green (MAS)

Carl Yuan (CHN)

Kristian Krogh Johannessen (NOR)

Wu Ashun (CHN)

Anirban Lahiri (IND)

Ruaidhrí Croke

Ruaidhrí Croke

Ruaidhrí Croke is a sports journalist with The Irish Times

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