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CORK, Ireland — After months of indecision over who to represent, Rory McIlroy announced Wednesday he will play for Ireland — not Britain — at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The 25-year-old McIlroy, who is from Northern Ireland, was eligible to play for either Ireland or Team GB when golf makes its return to the Olympics in Brazil for the first time since 1904.

Having played all of his amateur golf under the auspices of the Dublin-based Golfing Union of Ireland, the two-time major winner opted to stay with Ireland for the Olympics.

“I have been thinking about the decision a lot and remembered all the times I represented Ireland as an amateur,” McIlroy said on the eve of the Irish Open in Cork. “I was always very proud to put on the Irish uniform and play as an amateur and as a boy, and I would be very proud to do it again.”

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PINEHURST, N.C. — The U.S. Women’s Open gets started Thursday in golf’s version of a doubleheader. Just four days after Martin Kaymer won the U.S. Open with the second-lowest score in history (271), it’s the women’s turn.

It’s the first time the men and women have competed on the same golf course for a major in back-to-back weeks.

Pinehurst No. 2 will play at 6,649 yards for the women — just over 900 shorter than for the men.

“Last week with the men, they proved that under par is possible,” defending champion Inbee Park said. “So yeah, we should go out there and try to shoot under par.”

Juli Inkster, 53, is playing the Women’s Open for the 35th time this week and she said it probably will be her last.

“Shoot, I’ve played in 35 of these, so that’s pretty impressive,” said Inkster, a two-time Open champion and Hall of Fame member.

Inkster hasn’t won in nearly eight years, and she last made the cut in the Women’s Open in 2009.


Tiger Woods will have a new sponsor on his bag when he returns to competition, signing an endorsement deal with Denver-based MusclePharm Corp. that could include his own line of nutrition products.

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