The world No. 2 is a native of Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom and represented by Team Great Britain at the Olympics. But athletes from Northern Ireland have the choice to suit up for either Britain or the Republic of Ireland.
"I've had to deal with things in regard to the Olympics that others haven't had to and that brings questions and difficulties," McIlroy told Hoggard. "But at the end of the day, I thought I can't let that stuff ruin my experience of going to the Olympics and playing."
McIlroy didn't play at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro partially due to the difficult decision of which nation to represent. But he indicated at the PGA Championship in May that Ireland would be his choice once he confirmed his decision to participate in the Tokyo Games.
"I think as a young boy, it was always my dream to play for Ireland. I wanted to play for Ireland. I was very proud to put on that shirt or that blazer," McIlroy said at the time.
The deadline to qualify for the 2020 Games is still a year away, but it's safe to assume the reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year will be on the right side of the cut line when the time comes for Ireland to pick its team.