McIlroy 'won't be going' to 2020 Olympics

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Rory McIlroy was one of several high-profile golfers to skip the sport's Olympic return last year, but now it appears he also won't participate when the scene shifts to Tokyo for the 2020 Games.

During an interview this week at the SA Open, the world No. 2 made it clear that he doesn't intend to play for a gold medal in four years' time.

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

McIlroy initially cited concerns over the Zika virus as the reason behind his withdrawal from the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but last week he said he has come to "resent" the Olympics because he feels torn between two flags. McIlroy is from Northern Ireland, which is a part of Great Britain, but represented Ireland in amateur team competitions.

"It's not to say where I'm from is a bad place. Northern Ireland is one of the best places on Earth, and I try to get back there as much as I can," he said. "But again, it's a personal decision and it's a decision I haven't taken lightly and a decision I've fought myself over for so many years."

McIlroy garnered headlines last summer at The Open when discussing his Olympic withdrawal, and he admitted that in hindsight that news conference may have included "one question too many."

"I maybe said something off the cuff that went a little too far, but it was always in there. It was always there in the back of my mind, and that day it came to the front of my mind and I sort of let it go," he said. "I think golf in the Olympics is a great thing, and it went so good last year and I hope it goes even better in 2020. I just probably won't be a part of it."