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Rory McIlroy is eager to play at the Rio Olympics because he feels golf's return to the Games could be short-lived.
Golf will return to the Olympic programme in Brazil for the first time since 1904 but its future beyond Tokyo in four years time is far from certain with the IOC yet to determine if it will continue after 2020.
Its return has been met with a mixed response as some players are unhappy that a stroke-play competition has been adopted rather than a team competition, while schedules have had to be tweaked to accommodate the Olympics.
Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Vijay Singh have already made themselves unavailable for the Games, while Marc Leishman has withdrawn over concerns about the Zika virus, but McIlroy has confirmed his intention to represent Ireland in Rio.
When asked to explain his decision, McIlroy said: “Two reasons. Because of how it's being approached in golf circles. It's obviously being played in Rio this year and it's being played in Tokyo in 2020. I'm not sure if we're going to have another opportunity to win a gold medal after that depending on what happens.
"The second thing is that Paul McGinley is the Irish team captain and he is so into it."He's more into it than I am quite honestly. I would feel like I am not only letting him down, I'd let the country down as well."
McIlroy accepts why some players have opted out but he insists he will be doing all he can to win a gold medal.
"It's a week. You know, go play four rounds really competitively and try and win a gold medal. And if you do, I don't know how that will stack up against the other things that I've done in my career now, but maybe I might look back in 20 years’ time and a gold medal might be one of my crowning achievements in the game, you never know. So it's an opportunity to do something that you've never done before," he stated.
"I get that a lot of players aren't playing because of family matters and other things, but while I don't have those issues of a family or anything else, that's a good opportunity to go down and do something that you've never done before. So if nothing else, it will be a great experience."