Rory McIlroy explains why he's highly unlikely to play at the 2020 Olympics

He spoke to the BBC about the prospect of going to the Tokyo Games

Rory McIlroy explains why he's highly unlikely to play at the 2020 Olympics

Picture by Mike Groll AP/Press Association Images

Rory McIlroy says he is unlikely to compete at the 2020 Olympic Games golf tournament.

The four time major winner pulled out of the 2016 Games in Rio, where he would have represented Ireland, citing the Zika virus.

In an interview with Paul Kimmage in the Sunday Independent, however, the Northern Irish golfer also noted that playing at the Olympics had never been a major motivation in his career.

He said: "Olympic golf to me doesn't mean that much - it really doesn't. I don't get excited by it. And people can disagree, and have a different opinion, and that's totally fine."

McIlroy also told Kimmage that he had come to "resent the Olympic Games because of the position it put me in" regarding which team - Great Britain or Ireland - he would ultimately represent.

And he has appeared to rule out going to Tokyo for the 2020 Games in an interview with BBC Sport.

He said: "I'm a very conflicted person and not a lot of people understand that maybe. But it's the way I feel and I know that most people think that that is wrong. But it's the way I feel and I can't really help it, I guess.

"More likely than not I won't be going to the Games in 2020 just because of my personal feelings towards - not the Olympic games, the Olympic games are great and I think golf included in the Olympic games is fantastic - but for me it's just something I want to get into and that's a personal choice and hopefully people respect that decision."