Sunday, May 19, 2024

G Mac expresses Olympics regret: “I’d love to play, it’s fairly unlikely” – Irish Golfer Magazine

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Graeme McDowell believes his opportunity to represent Ireland in the Olympics has been and gone and admits it is unlikely that he will be competing in the Paris Games this summer.

McIlroy pulled out of the Rio Olympics in 2016 due to fears over the Zika virus, meaning McDowell was next in line to replace him but he quickly withdrew from the reckoning as his wife Kristin was due to give birth just two weeks after the competition.

Since then, the 44-year-old has joined LIV Golf and tumbled down the world rankings to a lowly 784th in the Official World Golf Rankings and when asked about the prospect of representing Ireland in the Olympic Golf Competition, he conceded that his chance had gone.

“I’d love to play in the Olympics, no doubt. I had an opportunity in Rio the first time the Olympics golf came back on the roster for the Olympics. I didn’t go. I kind of regret it,” explained the Portrush man.

“But with my current World Ranking I would say that’s fairly unlikely this season, unfortunately. I think I’m about 800th in the world. Unless I get residency of another country that might want me – I’ll take offers – I think I’m probably not going to be representing Ireland this year, unfortunately.”

McDowell also confirmed that he will be attempting to qualify for the US Open and Open Championship this year via the qualifying events.

McDowell, a 2010 US Open champion, is without a major championship appearance since 2020 while he has not played in an Open Championship since 2019.

Now playing on the Saudi backed LIV Golf tour, McDowell is ineligible to earn world ranking points meaning his major championship chances rely on coming through qualifying events.

“I’ve entered for both qualifiers,” McDowell confirmed ahead of LIV Singapore. “I think I’m in Florida Monday of Houston and then just south of London the Tuesday of the International Series Morocco, which I’ll go and play right after the Open qualifying series. Obviously I’ll be pulling hard for this guy (Brooks Koepka) in a couple weeks’ time but obviously trying to get into a couple majors myself.”


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