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Golf and gymnastics news from Team Ireland

Rory McIlroy missed out on an Olympic medal in Tokyo today.

It was a tense and thrilling final day in the Men’s Individual Stroke Play at Kasumigaseki Country Club today, the County Down golfer finished in a tie for 4th after a thrilling seven-way playoff for the bronze medal.

Having carded a final round 67, 4-under par, McIlroy joined the 7-way playoff for bronze. Open champion Collin Morikawa (USA), CT Pan (Chinese Taipei), Mito Pereira (Chile), Sebastián Munoz (Columbia), Paul Casey (GB) and Hideki Matsuyama (Japan) all finished on 15-under par with McIlroy.

McIlroy made a 10-foot putt on the first play-off hole to progress while Matsuyama and Casey bowed out. On the next, all 5 remaining players made par. Morikawa and CT Pan birdied the third play-off hole to knock McIlroy, Pereira and Munoz out.

McIlroy determined to make Paris Olympics

Despite his disappointment at not winning a medal, McIlroy said of his first Olympic experience:

“It makes me even more determined going to Paris and trying to pick one up. It’s disappointing going away without any hardware. I’ve been saying all day I’ve never tried so hard in my life to finish third!

“It’s been a great experience. Today was a great day to be up there in contention for a medal. Certainly it had a different feeling to it than I expected but as I said, I’m already looking forward to 3 years’ time and hopefully go at least one better, if not three better.”

Offaly’s Shane Lowry had to settle for a tie for 22nd as his final day saw him stall, shooting a level par 71. A bogey on the par 3 4th hole, followed by a double-bogey on the 8th put an end to his medal chances. Lowry birdied 3 of his final 4 holes to secure the top 25 spot.

Xander Schauffele held his overnight lead to secure the Gold Medal for USA, while Rory Sabbatini (Slovakia) fired a superb final round 61 to take Silver.

Gymnastics history maker Rhys McClenaghan

Rhys McClenaghan became the first Irish gymnast to reach an Olympic final. McClenaghan finished in 7th place in the Men’s Pommel Horse final with a score of 13.100.

McClenaghan was second last to take to the pommel following a host of other impressive performances across the board. An unfortunate error early on though, saw him catch his finger under the handle of the pommel which resulted in a fall from the horse.

He regained his composure quickly though and completed his routine in magnificent style, with a clean dismount, but knew that it was not enough for a podium finish. His final score of 13.100 was a combination of a 6.400 difficulty score and an execution score of 6.700.

“I was disappointed with my performance today,” he commented. “It could have gone a lot better of course, just that one finger got caught under the handle. That one finger got caught, and that’s the finest of margins in gymnastics, where that one finger placement wrong can throw you off course. It’s the beauty of the sport as well the fact that it makes it so exciting. I’m excited to get back out there and just be better than ever.”

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