Rory McIlroy admits he was ‘wrong’ for being ‘so skeptical’ of the Olympics and claims it would be ‘pretty cool’ to win a gold medal after getting himself into battle by leader Xander Schauffele with only three shots to follow
Rory McIlroy says he was “wrong” for being “so skeptical” about the Olympics and is enjoying the competition after competing for a medal in Japan.
McIlroy – who represents Team Ireland – carded a third round 67 at Kasumigaseki Country Club to get inside the top five and aim for an Olympic medal.
The four-time major champion says he’s happy to be “proven wrong” about the Olympics and says it would be “pretty cool” to pick up some silverware after moving within three strokes of 54-hole leader Xander Schauffele.
Rory McIlroy (above) says he was ‘wrong’ for being ‘so skeptical’ about the Olympics
After his impressive performance in the third round, McIlroy admitted: “I have to give things a chance.
“I spoke to my wife last night and said maybe I shouldn’t be so skeptical. But I think I should do better by just giving things a chance, experiencing things and not writing them off on the face of it.
‘That’s kind of a quality of mine, but as if I’m happy to be proven wrong. I was proven wrong at the Ryder Cup, I was proved wrong this week and I’m happy to say so.
“As you get closer to that finish line, you start to think about it [a medal] a bit more.
“An Olympic medal last week, well I didn’t really know what that would mean to me, and now that you have the chance to do it, so gosh, that would be pretty cool.”
The Irishman has a chance to win a medal at the 2020 Olympics in Japan
He’s now moved within three strokes of 54-hole leader Xander Schauffele (above)
McIlroy went into battle for the medal after three birdies in a four-hole stretch from the fifth before adding another on the 13th.
He also canceled a three-putt bogey on the 16th. Speaking of his performance, McIlroy said: “I got to four under after 13 and thought maybe I could squeeze an extra few shots out of the round.
“No birdie 14 was disappointing but then I bounced back well after the bogey at 16 with a birdie at 17 and overall a good round of golf and it keeps me in the fight.
‘You don’t want to look at it’ [leaderboards] too much, but I think it’s top three this week or nothing, right? You glance at it and see how far off the pace you are.
“There are still 18 holes, there is still a lot of golf and a lot can still happen. I’ll have to play some good golf tomorrow and see how it all unfolds.’
Meanwhile, Shane Lowry scored a 65 to finish alongside Team GB’s Irish colleagues McIlroy and Paul Casey.
Lowry believes he and McIlroy have a “big chance” of bringing some silverware home to Ireland.
Shane Lowry carded a 65 to finish alongside Team GB’s Irish colleagues McIlroy and Paul Casey
Lowry believes he and McIlroy have a ‘big chance’ of bringing some silverware home to Ireland
He said: ‘It’s nice to see a few medals returning to Ireland,’ said Lowry. “Of course it would be nice to get a few more.
‘Me and Rory’ [McIlroy] have a good chance of doing something. It would be great to see us on stage together.
“I think that’s something that we’re going to talk about over dinner tonight, of course, and we’re going to go out tomorrow and do our best.
“It’s a huge opportunity for me to do something really special for Irish golf and Irish sport, I think.
“We’re going in tomorrow and we’re both really looking forward to it. As the week goes on, he gets more excited about the Olympics [McIlroy] gets and the more it means to him.
“I’m sure he’ll go out with all his guns tomorrow to win a medal, and I’ll do the same.”