Justin Rose speaks out on Rory McIlroy’s controversial Olympics comments


His quest for a maiden Open Championship may start tomorrow, but Justin Rose was back in front of the cameras again this morning for the Team GB press conference.

He spoke at length yesterday about his Open preparations, but it merely became a footnote after Rory McIlroy hit the headlines for his controversial comments about competing in Rio and growing the game.

This time it was the turn of Rose to share his thoughts on the Olympics, and it didn’t take long for the World No.11 to wade into the Rory debate.

Here’s what he had to say...

Justin on…his standout Olympian as a kid

Olympic Crispy, which is what I called Linford Christie when I was a young kid. I must have been very young and very impressionable, but that [100 metres] was one of my earliest Olympic memories. In more recent times, Usain Bolt with his cool celebration and stuff like that. Mo Farah with the Mobot. Obviously we've had great representation on Team GB through a lot of sports.

Justin on…how he’ll celebrate if he wins gold in Rio

I'll try to be creative. It might be a good Instagram competition to see what people come up with.

Justin on…preparing for the Olympics

Some of my favourite golf is the Australian sort of Sandbelt, and he [Gil Hanse, course designer] actually tried to use some of that inspiration for the golf course. It has an Openish, rugged look to it. My caddie "Fooch" has talked with Gil, and we'll probably get a little bit of information and insight from him in the coming days and weeks. We're certainly down there early enough from the Friday before, so we have the best part of a week to play the golf course and figure it out.

 Justin on…the world’s top four withdrawing from the Rio Games

It's obviously disappointing. There's no point lying about that. But I totally respect and understand their perspective and their decision, and it obviously comes down to personal reasons, and for that you have to respect. But I've been fairly unwavering in my commitment to it, and haven't really second-guessed it too much.

Justin on…Rory’s remarks that he’d rather watch diving than golf during the Olympics

I only heard that this morning, so I haven't really had a lot of time to digest it. Hopefully [it was a] slip of the tongue, you know what I mean? One of those moments.

Justin on…whether he feels the top players have a responsibility to grow the game

If you want to call it responsibility, yes. Do I feel like it's nice to give back? Yes. I've received a lot of help from many different organisations within the game, and it doesn't take much to give back in certain ways, and I always try to do my fair share. The best way you can give back to the game is to be a positive role model in terms of how you go about competing and the temperament you show. If you can give back on top of that by time, effort, campaigns, money or whatever it might be, then that's a bonus.