McIlroy hails from Holywood, Northern Ireland, and the 23-year-old dodged questions throughout 2012 about whether he'd choose to represent Ireland or Great Britain in Rio. But in an upcoming BBC documentary, McIlroy admits that to avoid offending anyone under either flag, he's considering a third option: skipping the Games altogether.
"I just think being from where we're from, we're placed in a very difficult position," he said. "I feel Northern Irish and obviously being from Northern Ireland you have a connection to Ireland and a connection to the UK. If I could and there was a Northern Irish team I'd play for Northern Ireland.
"Play for one side or the other – or not play at all because I may upset too many people… Those are my three options I'm considering very carefully."
At the moment he has not made a definite decision but has admitted he regrets the Olympic furore of last year when a newspaper claimed he would prefer to play for Team GB in Brazil.
"It was a moment, I don't want to say of weakness, but a moment of, I guess, frustration with it all," the County Down man said. "People tune in to watch me play on TV and feel like they are connected to me in some way. I don't want to do repay them for their support with something they don't want me to do."
Related article: EAMON LYNCH: Dear God, leave Rory alone
Related photos: McIlroy's 2012 Season in Review (Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images)