Olympic confusion affecting GMAC and Rory World Cup decision

Is Graeme McDowell turning into Padraig Harrington? Asked once again about the Olympics, GMAC claimed on Wednesday that he hadn’t been giving it much thought before embarking on long discussion about the 2013 World Cup and how playing for Ireland could affect his Olympic options.
“I haven’t thought about it very much to be honest with you. It’s 2016 and I think if you ask any of the golfers on the range this week they probably could not tell you what the Olympics will actually mean to them,” said the recent RBC Heritage winner ahead of the Players Championship which gets underway on Thursday.
“I think it is a very special thing to be part of but where will it fit into the whole golfing ethos and hierarchy of events? We talk about the big four and the Olympics should theoretically slip in and make it the big five but I don’t think anyone has gotten their head around it yet.”
Both GMAC and Rory McIlroy have faced continual questions over whether they will represent the UK or Ireland in the Rio Olympics. https://pkgolf.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/mcdowell-sitting-on-the-fence-over-olympic-issue/
Rory, in particular, has found himself at the centre of the controversy and appears on the verge of giving the event a miss altogether. The issue made headlines once again last week when the R&A Chief Executive, Peter Dawson, appeared to indicate that Rory would represent Ireland in Rio.
The 24-year-old was forced once again to deny any decision had been made on the issue and that ultimately, he would have the final say.
What’s clear from McDowell’s comments at Sawgrass are that far from becoming clearer, the issue has only become more complicated.
“The dilemma myself and Rory have is a very unique one and there has been a huge amount of speculation about it,” added Graeme.

“For example, as regards the World Cup this year, there is a rule in there that says if Rory and I represent Ireland – which we would if we both played this year – then we would be compelled to play for Ireland in the Olympic games. Is that rule gonna stand, is it not going to stand?

“I kind of had an informal chat with Rory last night about whether we will play the World Cup together because I would love to do it. I think they have announced it will be at Royal Melbourne which is cool. It’s an amazing golf course.
“I would love to play for Ireland in the World Cup and the Olympics will not enter my head as regards making a decision about whether I play for Ireland in the World Cup this year. It is an event I would love to play in and if it forces me to play for Ireland in the Olympics in 2016 then so be it.”
Rory and Graeme have come agonisingly close to winning the World Cup on two previous occasions so there probably is some sense of unfinished business for GMAC.
More importantly however, there is something fundamentally wrong with Graeme and Rory trying to factor Olympic qualification issues into a decision on whether to play in an event three years away from Rio. The lack of clarity on the subject is nothing short of absurd and both players are being badly let down by officialdom.
As he continued speaking at Sawgrass, Graeme sounded like a man who was running out of patience.
“I only found out about the World Cup [it hasn’t been formally announced yet] a couple of days ago. It’s an event I have always had fun playing in and regardless of whether Rory wants to play or not, I want to play this year, if it works.
“If it compels me to play for Ireland, so be it.”


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