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Page last updated at 16:59 GMT, Wednesday, 23 September 2009 17:59 UK

McIlroy makes U-turn on Ryder Cup

Rory McIlroy in Paris ahead of the Vivendi Trophy
McIlroy during practice in Paris ahead of the Vivendi Trophy

Rory McIlroy says he has revised his opinion of the Ryder Cup after once dubbing the biennial match between Europe and the USA as an "exhibition".

In May, the 20-year-old said the event was "not a huge goal" of his.

But he has changed his mind ahead of the Vivendi Trophy, where Great Britain and Ireland take on Continental Europe.

"I take my comments back a little bit and this is a great opportunity for me to show what I can do in a team event," McIlroy told BBC Radio Five live.

The Northern Irish youngster plays in the Vivendi Trophy, formerly known as the Seve Trophy, in Paris from Thursday.

He partners countryman Graeme McDowell in the opening fourball against Soren Kjeldsen and Alvaro Quiros.

"You're with a great bunch of lads and you realise it's as special, if not more special, to share your success with other people," he said.


"It has made me realise how special team golf is. I made those Ryder Cup comments in the middle of the season when I wasn't remotely thinking about team golf."

McIlroy made his original remarks ahead of the Irish Open when he was partnered by Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie.

"It's not a huge goal of mine," he said of the Ryder Cup in May.

"It's an exhibition at the end of the day. In the big scheme of things it's not that important an event for me."

McIlroy had also said he would not revise his schedule at the end of a year-long qualifying race to chase Ryder Cup points.

Asked for a response to McIlroy's original comments, Montgomerie insisted the Ryder Cup "is not an exhibition and it never will be".

"It's a very unique, special event and much more nerve-wracking than a major," said the 45-year-old Scot.

He added: "Rory will understand when - and it's not an 'if' - he is a Ryder Cup player."

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see also
Ryder Cup spot not a McIlroy goal
13 May 09 |  Golf
Withdrawals hit Vivendi defence
23 Sep 09 |  Golf
McGinley & Bjorn lead Seve teams
14 May 09 |  Golf
Montgomerie hits back at Poulter
29 Aug 08 |  Golf

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