Rory McIlroy reveals Zika fears could potentially prevent him featuring at the Olympics 6 years ago

Rory McIlroy reveals Zika fears could potentially prevent him featuring at the Olympics

Rory McIlroy could be set for a very busy few months.

The Ulsterman is just 24 hours out from his Irish Open victory, but already his thoughts are turning to bigger events.


The world number three won at the K Club on Sunday after hitting two of the best shots of his life to keep the challenge of Russell Knox at bay down the home straight.

The victory in Kildare sets McIlroy up perfectly for the US Open at Oakmont next month and, later this summer, he is likely to spearhead Ireland's hopes for Olympic gold in Rio.

McIlroy will be rated as one of the favourites to take home a medal for Ireland if he makes it to Brazil, but speaking after his maiden Irish Open success, he admitted that the current fear over the Zika virus could put a halt to his Olympic ambitions.

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 08: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts on the 18th hole after the second round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)


The virus, which affects fertility, has been linked to dozens of cases of brain deformities in newborn babies.

Speaking to the BBC, McIlroy admits that he and his fiancée Erica Stoll are concerned about the long term effects of the virus if the 27-year-old was to contract it while in Brazil.

"There's going to be a point in the next couple of years where we're going to have to think about starting a family.

"Right now I'm ready to go but I don't want anything to affect that.

"But I have been reading a lot of reports about Zika and there have been some articles coming out saying that it might be worse than they're saying and I have to monitor that situation.

"I am actually going to get my injections on Wednesday - at least I will be immunised for whatever... if I do get bitten by a mosquito down there."

The 27-year-old also stated that he has fears over the spread of the virus, but that as of now; he is looking forward to competing.


2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Day 4, The K Club, Co. Kildare 22/5/2016 Rory McIlroy with The Irish Open trophy Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Already Vijay Singh, Mark Leishman Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel have said they will not be playing the competition this summer which sees gold feature at the Olympics for the first time since 1904.

There was controversy last year when it was hinted that McIlroy may have lined out for the Great Britain team in August.

But the Down native had no doubt that he was going to be teeing off behind the tricolour.


"If there was just a Northern Irish team I'd love to play for a Northern Irish team. But it doesn't quite work like that. I've always played golf for Ireland.

"We view golf in this island as the whole of Ireland and it's what I've always done, and that's what I'm going to do down there - be proud to put on that green shirt and compete for a gold."

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