Rory McIlroy Confirms He Will Play 2021 Tokyo Olympics

The Northern Irishman is "looking forward" to making his debut appearance in the Olympics this year

Rory McIlroy Confirms He Will Play 2021 Tokyo Olympics

The Northern Irishman is "looking forward" to making his debut appearance in the Olympics this year

Rory McIlroy Confirms He Will Play 2021 Tokyo Olympics

Despite admitting it won’t be an Olympics like we’ve become accustomed to in the past due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Rory McIlroy has confirmed his intention to play in the Tokyo Games at the end of July. 

Golf was reinstated as an Olympic sport in 2016, more than a century after it had last featured, but has yet to find favour among all of the game’s top players. 

McIlroy himself skipped the 2016 edition, citing concerns over the Zika virus that broke out in Brazil, and already World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott and Lee Westwood have confirmed they won’t be teeing it up in Tokyo this year.

However, ahead of the 2021 PGA Championship, the Northern Irishman insisted he was looking forward to the event and experiencing something new in golf for the first time in years. 

“It's certainly not going to be the authentic Olympic experience that you would normally get, but it's the times that we're living in, I guess,” the man from Hollywood said. 

“Sort of no different than when you go over and play a tournament in Asia anyway. You see the golf course and the hotel and that's sort of it. 

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“It's not going to be that much different to what we play when we go over and play the HSBC or ZOZO or CJ Cup or whatever. 

“Yeah, it's not ideal, but it's still a good opportunity to do something that I've never done before. 

“This is my 13th PGA Championship. I've been around now for a long time, so it's sort of rare to be able to do something for the first time again. I'm sort of looking forward to that.”

Another person who will be paying close attention to the Olympics, albeit for different reasons, is European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington, who said the event is “very important from a Ryder Cup perspective."

Harrington added: "It’s a big deal being an Olympian, and especially would be a big deal if you won a medal, gold medal. That will put players under pressure and stress.

"If a player can go out and win in the Olympics, that’s the sort of player I want on the first tee of a Ryder Cup.”

While McIlroy is already a shoo-in for September's Ryder Cup, his comments will be welcomed by Harrington as they may encourage others who are perhaps on the fence to follow suit and confirm their intention to play should they qualify.

The tournament will take place at Kasumigaseki CC from July 29 to August 1, two weeks after the Open Championship and a week before the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational.

Justin Rose emerged victorious in 2016, claiming gold for Team GB, with Henrik Stenson winning silver and Matt Kuchar taking home the bronze.

Andrew Wright
Andrew Wright

A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor of a golf magazine distributed to pro shops in the UK. Now he's taken a step up writing for Golf Monthly about product and instruction. 


On the playing side, Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys hacking it round Royal Troon when the weather permits and holds a handicap of 1. 


As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.