Tokyo 2020: Rory McIlroy says Olympics not just another tournament after missing out on medal

Tokyo Olympic Games on the BBC
Dates: 23 July-8 August Time in Tokyo: BST +8
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Rory McIlroy admits his perception of participating in the Olympic Games has changed after missing out on a medal in the men's golf tournament in Tokyo.

McIlroy, 32, had previously questioned whether there was much for him to look forward to at the Games.

But after bowing out in the seven-man bronze medal play-off, he confirmed his plans to return at Paris 2024.

"I've never tried so hard in my life to finish third," the four-time major winner told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"It's not a position I've found myself in very often but I gave it my all out there and it wasn't quite meant to be, but I'm looking forward to having a crack at it again.

"It's not just another golf tournament - it's something much bigger than that.

"I didn't realise that until I got here. I feel like golf has its Olympic Games four times a year, but this has a different feeling, it really does.

"I've really enjoyed teaming up with Shane [Lowry] for Ireland. It's like a throwback to our amateur days."

American Xander Schauffele clinched the gold medal after a nail-biting final round at Kasumigaseki Country Club, with Slovakia's Rory Sabbatini securing silver after closing with an Olympic record 10-under round of 61.

CT Pan of Chinese Taipei claimed the bronze medal on the fourth play-off hole, edging out newly crowned Open champion Collin Morikawa of the US in the process, after McIlroy had been eliminated on the third extra hole.

But despite his week having ended in disappointment, McIlroy said his Olympic debut was a "wonderful experience" and added that he plans to compete in France in 2024.

He said: "I'm really happy with how the week has gone. It would have been great to get a medal, but I'm already excited for what's ahead and my next Olympic experience.

"Before this week, it [becoming an Olympic champion] might have been something that wasn't fully on my radar, but leaving Tokyo, it's something that I really want to do."

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