Former World number one Adam Scott thinks Olympic golf is nothing more than an ‘exhibition’ and isn’t planning to gear his schedule around competing in the 2016 Games in Rio, Brazil.
Golf has been reinstated as an Olympic sport for Rio 2016 after its removal more than a century ago in 1904, but its return has divided opinion on the professional golf tours worldwide.
Tiger Woods, who will be 40 by the time Rio 2016 rolls around, is looking forward to the event. He said: “It’s a big deal because it’s the first one in so long.”
Another former World number one and the 2013 Masters Champion, Adam Scott, doesn’t share Tiger’s viewpoint.
Speaking at the recent Wells Fargo Championship on the PGA Tour, the Australian was less than complimentary about the prospect. Scott called the event an “exhibition” and has said he would happily avoid it.
He told Reuters: “Whether I win an Olympic medal or not is not going to define my career or change whether I’ve fulfilled my career. It’s nothing I’ve ever aspired to do and I don’t think I ever will.
“It’s all about the four majors and that’s the way it should stay for golf. To go and play an exhibition event down there to meet some athletes [in other sports] in the middle of the major season – I don’t think any other athletes in their sport would do that.”
The popularity of golf is returning to the heights it has enjoyed during the Tiger Woods era, as new heroes like Jordan Spieth to Rory McIlroy emerge to fill the gap left by Tiger’s fading form, repeated swing changes and injury plagued body.
It’s a controversial issue and has divided the opinions of some sports fans.
Golfers do not spend four years building towards a single event, they play week in week out year round, for rich prize purses and major honours.
They view the four Major Championships as the single most important events in the sport and the chance to win an Olympic medal is likely to rank far lower than the prospect of lifting the Claret Jug or slipping on the Green Jacket at Augusta National.
Olympic Golf is not without its pitfalls; for example, there is no specific qualifying tournament for each country, which in itself has attracted criticism from those who feel that potential underdogs’ talents are not being nurtured.
There are those that argue that the Olympics are essential to the growth of the sport because it will provide far reaching global TV exposure to a sport that is regarded as singularly elitist and dominated by the USA, UK, Europe and wealthier Asian nations.
What are your thoughts?
Is golf good for the Olympics? Or are the Olympics bad for Golf?
Let us know below.