U.S. gymnast Simone Biles is living proof that every great athlete finds themself in between a rock and a hard place at some point in their career. And for Olympic Golfer Rory McIlroy, that means being forced to choose between his hometown and the town he calls home. In 2016 Rory was given the option of whether to represent Britain or Ireland in Rio, but the athlete ultimately opted out of the competition altogether.
But it appears that Rory has had a change of heart. The professional golfer decided to tee up in Tokyo and fans were surprised to learn what team he’s representing. Despite growing up in Northern Ireland, he has previously pledged his allegiance to Britain in the past. So why is Rory playing for Ireland in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games?
Why is Rory McIlroy golfing for Ireland?
Because Rory was born in Northern Ireland, he is technically a British national. But Golf Monthly reported that Rory is still under the jurisdiction of Team Ireland according to the Golfing Union. In the past, Rory has expressed that he identifies with Britain more than his hometown and would ultimately choose Team GB if given the choice.
Rory has also been candid about the support he’s gotten from Ireland, which made his choice even more difficult, but said that he’s at peace with his decision. Regardless of who Rory is representing at the Olympics, he hasn’t been afraid to put his game face on.
Ahead of the summer games, Rory expressed that his motivations for competing at Tokyo 2020 have less to do with patriotism than his desire to win.
“I mean, look, I’m not a very patriotic guy. I’m doing it because I think it is the right thing to do," he told the BBC. “I missed it last time, and for golf to be an Olympic sport, you need your best players there. I feel like I want to represent the game of golf more than anything else.”
Since qualifying for the Olympics. Rory has been noticeably underwhelmed. He explained at the 2020 PGA Tournament, “I don’t know if there is much to look forward to. It’s obviously going to be a very different environment.”
But that’s not the only thing that fans noticed about Rory’s performance at the 2020 Olympics. Viewers also noted that, unlike his teammates, Rory was lacking a certain accessory. Why wasn’t Rory wearing a hat at the 2020 Olympics?
Why wasn’t Rory McIlroy wearing a hat at the 2020 Olympics?
Previously, Rory revealed that the real reason he isn’t wearing his team’s customary hat at the Olympics this year is much less mysterious than you think and has absolutely nothing to do with his lack of patriotism.
According to Rory, his “pea-sized head” makes it impossible for him to find a hat that fits.
“I have such a small head. My head is so small that I have to get Nike to make me custom hats, so whenever I’m in a team event and the hats aren’t custom, they’re all too big,” Rory explained. Luckily, his headgear (or lack thereof) doesn’t affect his ability to play.