Rory McIlroy did not get on with Irish Olympic Committee President Pat Hickey and here's why.

The Rory #Karma tweet aimed at Pat Hickey which was quickly deleted.

Hickey's words about McIlroy both in the past and recently coupled with the IOC's sponsorship deal with New Balance is the real reason why Rory chose, in the end, not to represent Ireland in Rio.

Following Hickey's bizarre arrest in Rio in relation to a ticket touting scandal, Rory broke with the script and tweeted his shotgun reaction #Karma on his twitter account.

That tweet was quickly deleted again by McIlroy, no doubt after being contacted by management.

McIlroy was first made aware of Hickey's power in 2012 when he weighed in on the debate on whether Rory should represent Team GB or Ireland.  Hickey thought that dangling the carrot of carrying the Irish flag in the opening ceremony would swing the deal but called the golfer "immature" in the process.

“You know it was over two years ago when Rory made some rash comments about representing Team GB," Hickey said. I think that he was perhaps a little immature back then and although he reiterated them again recently, in his present state of mind right now, I feel that he might be thinking differently.”
“Can you just imagine what something like this would do for Rory McIlroy.  It would suddenly catapult him into the realms of being one of the most instantly recognisable sporting faces on the planet. Because make no mistake about it, that’s what carrying the flag does for people.”

McIlory is contracted to Nike, while the Irish Olympic Team is sponsored by New Balance.  Hickey tried to get Nike involved before New Balance but was laughed out of the room.

It was after this deal that Rory declared officially for Ireland.  While ideologically Rory's initial natural tendencies were to join Team GB, in terms of business and the McIlroy brand globally, it was better that he appear to be Irish rather than British, especially in the USA where the golfing public had always regarded him as the "Irish" kid.

Thus came McIlroy's declaration for Ireland knowing he would be dealing with Pat Hickey.

Hickey immediately took the opportunity to get the details of his one-over on Nike into the public domain.

"Just in case he declared for us, we went to Nike and told them we might have Rory", Hickey said at the time. But they just dismissed us out of hand and now they regret it, I believe. I’m told the Nike guys nearly collapsed when they heard what happened and that they’d missed a golden opportunity. I can’t say what the deal would have cost Nike to get in ahead of New Balance. But it would have been peanuts compared to what they are paying Rory."
When Rory pulled out of the Games citing Zika Hickey told RTE radio.

“What I think has happened in golf is this, a crop of new young under 26-year-olds have come out and they’re millionaires, if not billionaires.
“They’re making huge money and there’s no money in a gold medal and it definitely disaffects their thinking, or their agent’s thinking more importantly.”

Hence today came the #Karma Tweet.

More as it emerges

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