London: World No. 1 Rory McIlroy could reject the opportunity to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro to avoid any controversy over which country to represent.
McIlroy, 23, the winner of two Majors, said he was mulling whether to play for Britain or Ireland and that he might opt out of playing altogether.
“I just think being from where we’re from, we're placed in a very difficult position,” he said. “I feel Northern Irish and being from Northern Ireland you have a connection to Ireland and a connection to the UK.
“If I could and there was a Northern Irish team, I'd play for Northern Ireland. Play for one side or the other, or not play at all because I may upset too many people. Those are my three options I'm considering very carefully.”
Golf will return to the Olympics for the first time since 1904.
In 2009, McIlroy said that he would “probably play for Great Britain”.
He echoed those feelings in an interview last year but regretted the comments. “It was a moment, I don't want to say of weakness, but a moment of frustration with it all,” he said.
“People tune in to watch me play on TV and feel like they are connected to me in some way. I don't want to repay them for their support with something they don't want me to do.”