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Rory McIlroy stands behind Ryder Cup "exhibition" remark

Outspoken Rory McIlroy refused to back down on his assertion that the Ryder Cup was an exhibition after finishing his Irish Open first round on Thursday.

The 20-year-old Briton said he did not regret his remarks. “No, I don’t,” he told Reuters.

McIlroy, who partnered Europe’s 2010 Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie on the opening day at County Louth, did not talk about the matter during the round.

“It wasn’t discussed,” McIlroy said. “I just asked Monty about his three (Ryder Cup) picks, nothing was said.”

Northern Irishman McIlroy, who had said that individual competition was more important to him, added to his remarks of Wednesday.

“At the end of the day it’s (the Ryder Cup) a great event, probably the best spectacle in golf. But sometimes it’s been taken a little too seriously.

“If I get into the team it will be massive and I’ll enjoy it.”

McIlroy, one of the tournament favourites, carded a three-under 69 to lie three shots off the early lead in Baltray.

“I didn’t play that well at the start but I got round and then I was able to get away with it,” added McIlroy, who collected four birdies in his last eight holes.

May 15, 2009

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