Padraig Harrington is looking to win an Olympic gold medal in 2016 after golf was confirmed as an official sport for the games to be held in Rio De Janeiro.

Harrington said, “I do believe in time the Olympic gold will become the most important event in golf and I don’t believe it will take that long.

“In the four years between the Olympics there will be 16 majors, so winning gold will be that much more special. It is seven years away, and physically I should be capable of continuing for a number of years.

“Competing in the Olympics gives me the motivation to push on -- I want to be there in 2016. Being an Olympian is a big deal in Ireland, one of the greatest honors for any Irish person, and I want to be one.”

In other golf news, Ireland’s Gareth Maybin and Gary Murphy finished joint fourth behind England’s Ross McGowan at the Madrid Open in Spain on Sunday.

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell have been confirmed as the Irish pairing for golf’s World Cup in China next month.