One day Rory McIlroy was on top of the world, the next day he was caught in an identity crisis between two golfing nations.
''I was hoping that my success on the golf course would be the more popular topic of golfing conversation today,'' McIlroy said in a letter he posted Monday on Twitter.
Not long after he beat the strongest leaderboard of the year in the BMW Championship, McIlroy found himself in the middle of a debate over which flag he might represent when golf returns to the Olympics in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.
The 23-year-old from Northern Ireland, already with two major championships and a No. 1 ranking by a widening margin, grew up ''a proud product of Irish golf.'' Because his country is part of the United Kingdom, he also is eligible to play for Britain.
Stirring the debate was an interview with The Daily Mail in which McIlroy said he feels a greater connection with the UK than with Ireland.
''What makes it such an awful position to be in is I have grown up my whole ...