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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy admits he was ‘pleasantly surprised’ by Olympic golf

Rory McIlroy

After being one of those most critical of the concept of Olympic golf, Rory McIlroy is sort of coming around on the concept.

McIlroy admitted that he’d watched a bit of the golf and came away impressed with how it turned out.

“It pleasantly surprised me,” McIlroy said Wednesday, via Jason Sobel of ESPN. “There was more people at the golf events than there was at the athletics. It was good to see, it really was. It seems like it was a great atmosphere down there. I think it was one of the cheaper tickets, as well, and I think that encouraged a lot of people to go.

“To see the crowds and see the turnout, I was glad to be somewhat proven wrong.”

McIlroy had some very negative comments about Olympic golf before he got to see the spectacle. By his own admission, he didn’t think it would be very interesting, but he seems to have come around.

Rory McIlroy responds to Olympics Twitter taunts

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy responded on Twitter Sunday to the Olympians who tried trolling him via the social media service.

Two boxers, Paddy Barnes and Mick Conlan, appeared to be working in tandem when they tried to troll Rory. Barnes got on the Irish golfer with a reference to McIlroy’s ex-fiancee, Caroline Wozniacki.

Conlan then used a photo with Rickie Fowler to blast McIlroy for not competing at the Olympics. Conlan’s post used some inappropriate language.

Here was Rory’s response:

Barnes and Conlan both seemed pleased that they got a response out of McIlroy as they each responded delightfully that Rory was a good sport about things.

What would have been the motivation for trolling McIlroy? Well Rory announced in June he would be skipping the Summer Games in Rio over concerns about Zika virus. But he really became a heel with these comments about the Olympics.

Of course, it’s not uncommon for less popular athletes to try using a famous one to raise their profile. It seems Barnes and Conlan are doing just that by targeting McIlroy.

Rory McIlroy will watch Olympic sports ‘that matter,’ not golf

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy is one of a number of PGA stars who are skipping the Summer Olympics due to Zika virus concerns, but the four-time major champion hardly seems disappointed about it.

While speaking to the media on Tuesday, McIlroy said he does not plan to watch golf when it returns to the Olympics this year for the first time since 1904. And that isn’t because it hurts too much that he won’t be there.

“I’ll watch the Olympics, but probably not golf,” McIlroy said, via Golf Digest. “I’ll watch track and field, swimming, diving … you know, ones that matter.”

Though McIlroy has cited Zika concerns as the reason he will not travel to Rio, it sure sounds like he has no interest in Olympic golf no matter where the Summer Games are held.

“I didn’t get into golf to try and grow the game,” he said. “I got into golf to win championships and win majors.”

You have to wonder how many golfers feel the same way. Zika is a legitimate concern, as it can cause major birth defects if contracted by women. Jordan Spieth is the latest PGA golfer to bow out of the Rio Olympics, and he isn’t even engaged to his longtime girlfriend yet as far as we know. It seems unlikely that the 22-year-old is thinking about starting a family anytime soon.

Rory McIlroy to skip Olympics due to Zika concerns

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy announced on Wednesday that he is withdrawing his name from consideration for the Rio Olympics.

McIlroy, the No. 5 golfer in the world, has changed his mind after saying earlier this month that it would not be “the end of the world” if he contracted the Zika virus while competing in Brazil.

“After much thought and deliberation, I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration for this summer’s Olympic Games,” McIlroy said in a statement, via NBC Sports. “After speaking with those closest to me, I’ve come to realize that my health and my family’s health comes before anything else. Even though the risk of infection from the Zika virus is considered low, it is a risk nonetheless and a risk I am unwilling to take.”

McIlroy initially said he was considering skipping the Olympics due to Zika concerns but later said he was no longer concerned after gathering more information. He is engaged to a former PGA Tour employee and has said he plans to start a family in the near future.

Many athletes have expressed concern over traveling to Rio for the Olympics this summer, with one NBA player even considering freezing his sperm if he decides to compete. Zika is a disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes and can cause serious birth complications.

Rory McIlroy slams USGA over Dustin Johnson controversy

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy was among the most vocal critics of the USGA for their handling of the Dustin Johnson putting controversy during the final round of the US Open on Sunday.

Johnson may have touched his ball while addressing his putt on the 12th hole (video here), leading to talk that the USGA might assess him a one-stroke penalty. The possibility that Johnson might end up getting penalized well after the hole ended did not sit well with many of his colleagues, most notably McIlroy, who was watching the event after missing the cut.

Take a look at some of the tweets sent by McIlroy:

McIlroy then sent this after Johnson clinched the major:

Sure enough, the USGA did end up assessing Johnson a one-stroke penalty, giving him a final round score of 69, which was still good enough for him to capture the event.

Rory McIlroy, girlfriend Erica Stoll getting married in Irish castle


Can you think of a more appropriate place for PGA superstar Rory McIlroy to get married than in a famous castle in Ireland?

According to the Irish Mail, McIlroy and his fiancee Erica Stoll are planning a wedding at the five-star Ashford Castle in County Mayo. The date they have in mind is New Year’s Eve.

Ashford Castle is an incredibly exquisite venue that is considered one of the best for weddings in Ireland. A number of celebrities, including Pierce Brosnan, have tied the knot there. If you’d like to take a visit to the castle this summer to check out where McIlroy will be saying “I do,” you can book a room for about $700 per night.

McIlroy said he has tried to keep his relationship with Stoll “low key,” noting that Erica has been a calming influence in his life.

“She is a very low key person, not the kind to broadcast stuff, but that side of my life is really good just now. We are excited, our parents are excited so it is a really happy time,” he said. “For me, Erica brings such a level of normality to everything. She has a calming presence, a sereneness and that’s not just on me; it is noticeable in any company. She never wants to be the center of attention and is always very comfortable in the background.”

McIlroy and Stoll have done a fairly good job of keeping their personal lives under wraps. There was speculation last year that McIlroy popped the question in Paris after he shared this photo on Instagram, and the couple later confirmed the engagement. Unlike his previous relationship which was extremely public, McIlroy has taken a more secretive approach this time around.

Rory McIlroy will compete in Olympics despite Zika concerns


Rory McIlroy has decided to represent Ireland in the Rio Olympics this summer despite his concerns over the Zika virus outbreak.

After he won the Irish Open two weeks ago, McIlroy said he was considering skipping the Olympics because he wants to start a family with his fiancee Erica Stoll at some point in the near future. The Zika virus is transmitted through mosquitoes and can cause serious birth defects and other complications.

On Wednesday, McIlroy declared himself “ready to play” in Rio after learning more about Zika.

“I feel like the advice I’ve sought out over the past 10 days has put my mind at ease and makes me more comfortable going down there knowing that, even if I do contract Zika, it’s not the end of the world,” he said, via Ryan Ballengee of Devil Ball Golf. “It takes six months to pass through your system, and you’re fine.”

McIlroy said he feels more comfortable now knowing that there is testing for the Zika virus.

“You can get tested for it, and it’s either a yes or a no you’ve had it,” he said. “It’s a virus. It works its way out of your system, and you become immune to it.”

The Zika virus certainly does not sound fun. An MLB pitcher recently opened up about contracting it in his home country of Venezuela over the offseason, and it took him two months to fully recover.

Like McIlroy, Pau Gasol recently revealed he may skip the Olympics due to Zika concerns.