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Gold medal winner Justin Rose thinks Rory McIlroy may regret his decision not to compete at the Olympics.
Four-time major winner McIlroy pulled out of the Rio Games in June because of concerns about the Zika virus, but later suggested that golf was not one of the Olympic sports that "matter" and that he would not watch the tournament on television.
But Rose, who held off the challenge of Open winner Henrik Stenson to became golf's first Olympic champion since 1904, says McIlroy texted him after his two-shot victory at the Olympic Golf Course on Sunday.
"I did get one from Rory. Absolutely,” Rose said. "He said he was very, very proud and he said he was pulling for me. He said he could see how much it meant to me and congratulated me.
"He was very complimentary and obviously he watched. He made the point that he really wants golf to succeed as an Olympic sport. He has some of his own opinions that are very personal to him and that’s fine, but as a whole he’s very, very much behind golf succeeding in the Olympics."
The 2013 US Open champion says McIlroy, and others who snubbed the event such as Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott and Graeme McDowell, may now rue their decision to give up their chance of Olympic gold.
"All the guys that missed out probably made their decision for good reasons and they probably persuaded themselves it was a good decision, but I think they’re going to have sat back and realised what a successful event this was," he continued.
"They’re all great competitors and to be sitting at home watching other guys getting the glory is not going to sit well with them. They want experiences like this and they’re going to have to wait four years. That’s what makes this special. It just doesn’t come around next week and I’ll have another go."
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