Tiger Woods has expressed an interest in representing the United States at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
The 15-time major champion was ruled out through injury when golf made its debut at the Summer Games in Rio in 2016, but Woods’ eyes are firmly set on taking the chance to compete in Japan next year if the opportunity arises.
After four years of injury hell, last month Woods returned to the top of the game he had dominated for so long before his fall from grace. That came when he won a 15th major when being crowned 2019 U.S. Masters at Augusta in April.
Speaking ahead of the U.S. PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, Woods was asked about his thoughts on making the USA team for the 2020 Olympics and he was quick to throw his hat into the ring.
Woods will be 44 by the time the game begin in Tokyo in July next year, and he knows it could be his one and only opportunity to be an Olympian.
“Would I like to play in the Olympics? Yes,” Woods said. “I’ve never played and I’m not sure how many opportunities I will have going forward as I’m 43 now.
“It would be a first for me. Getting there and making the team would be the tough part. If I play well in the big events, like I did this year, things will take care of themselves.”
Woods has returned to the world top 10 since making his fully-fledged comeback from injury, with his Masters success one of two wins over the last 12 months along with the 2018 season-ending Tour Championship.
Rory McIlroy, who opted against competing in the Olympics in Rio due to concerns over the Zika virus, has also said he is likely to make himself available for selection for the Tokyo Games.
While the Zika virus was one controversial decision McIlroy had to make it the time, he still has to make another when it comes to Tokyo. That is because the dilemma over whether the Northern Irishman should represent Great Britain or Ireland is still there.
It is not a decision McIlroy was comfortable making, but one he needed to do so to be one of the planes heading east to Japan…and he has declared that Ireland is his intended choice.
“More likely than not I will play,” McIlroy said. “I think it would be a great experience.”
Regarding his allegiances, he added: “I think as a young boy it was always my dream to play for Ireland. I wanted to play for Ireland. I was very proud to put on that shirt or that blazer.
“When you put Olympics into the equation there’s a choice to be made. You have to start thinking: what are your beliefs and your values?
“You have to delve a little deeper, it’s not just superficial decision, it’s something you have to really believe in and I’ve thought about that for a long time.
“It’s the same as like the rugby players, right? There’s players that play for Ulster, but they want to play for Ireland. It’s seen as a whole island sport, just like hockey is, just like most of the sports are.
“I’m excited to be going to the Olympics. I’m excited to play for Ireland. It’s going to be cool.”