Rio 2016 champion Justin Rose says McIlroy "wants golf to succeed as an Olympic sport"

The Great Britain golfer also added that McIlroy congratulated him

Rio 2016 champion Justin Rose says McIlroy "wants golf to succeed as an Olympic sport"

Mike Groll / AP

Justin Rose who became the first men's Olympic golf champion in over a century says Rory McIlroy was among those to send him congratulatory messages after his victory in Rio on Sunday.

McIlroy had withdrawn from the tournament in Brazil because of the Zika virus but also later stated that he would be unlikely to watch golf in Rio in order to focus on viewing the sports that "matter".

But he clearly had one eye on the golf's conclusion as Rose said afterwards when asked who sent him congratulatory messages.

"I did get one from Rory. Absolutely. He said he was very, very proud and he said he was pulling for me. He said he could see how much it meant to me and congratulated me," said Rose.

"He was very complimentary and obviously he watched. He made the point that he really wants golf to succeed as an Olympic sport. He has some of his own opinions that are very personal to him and that's fine, but as a whole he's very, very much behind golf succeeding in the Olympics."

With McIlroy and Shane Lowry pulling out, Padraig Harrington and Seamus Power were Ireland's Olympic representatives in the men's golf tournament.