Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

20.48 4 Aug 2021


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Rory McIlroy says he's already looking forward to Paris 2024 after being bitten by the Olympic bug. 

The County Down golfer missed out on a bronze medal in Tokyo last week after being involved in a seven-man sudden death playoff.

McIlroy began the Olympic arc lukewarm to the idea of competing, but admits to having been fully invested once he was involved in the heat of battle.

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"I certainly didn't expect to feel the way I did when I was there, but it was great. It was a great experience. I had a wonderful time," he told the media ahead of this week's WGC St. Jude Invitational.

"I had a good chance of getting a medal there at the end and didn't quite pan out, but it was a great week. I'm already looking forward to Paris."

McIlroy said his display in Tokyo was born of playing with less pressure, and he plans to take that mindset into TPC Southwind.

"That's really it," he said, "I know if I do that, then I'll be able to play some of my best golf or at least give myself the chance to play my best golf.

"More freedom, less thought, more fun, try to have a little more fun with it and then go from there."

Meanwhile, McIlroy has revealed he was privy to the discussions that led to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open having its prize fund doubled.

This week, the European Tour and PGA Tour announced details of their 'strategic alliance', which will see the Scottish Open increase in importance and more of a link between the tours being emphasised.

"This is just one of the benefits of the strategic partnership between the PGA Tour and the European Tour," McIlroy said.

"Obviously the Scottish Open being a FedEx Cup event next year is huge.

"The Irish Open getting a little burst of money in the prize fund, and that going up to $6million... it's all heading in the right direction.

"I think it's wonderful for everyone involved. I've always said, 'we're all in this thing together and we need to be pulling in the same direction'.

"This is the start of it, which is great."

He added, "I've sat in all those - the PAC meeting discussions I sat on - there was two Board calls a couple of weeks ago to get it over the line and I've been privy to those conversations.

"It's great that all the parties involved were able to agree on the smaller details and get it done, so really happy about that and hopefully - down the line - the Irish Open... you know, I think it's the start of something... I don't know what the word is - bigger or more substantial - but hopefully one day you could maybe see the Irish Open becoming similar to what the Scottish Open has for next year."

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Olympic Games Olympics Paris 2024 Rory McIlroy Tokyo 2020 WGC St. Jude Invitational

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