Since the announcement that golf will become part of the Rio Olympics this summer we have seen some of the game’s top players withdraw for a number of reasons – with fears over the Zika virus more common than most.
But can we really see golf at the Olympics becoming a main focus on a top 10 players’ schedules?
Although there are definite risks with Zika – problems in a women’s pregnancy chief among those – we cannot pretend to ignore that this is perhaps being used as an excuse for an event that interferes with an already hectic yearly schedule.
Names to pull out so far include Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Henrik Stenson and Jordan Spieth.
Players such as McIlroy prepare their schedule around majors and, although Olympic gold is new for the sport, it does not offer any financial benefit or, more crucially, FedEx Cup points.
It’s clear it’s not really at the top of the priority list for the best players of the game – so would it really be a bad idea to open this up to the world’s top amateur golfers?
We have seen recent performers from Paul Dunne and Bryson DeChambeau that these rookies can be equally as good as the professionals and would only thrive at the chance to compete for Olympic gold.
Maybe that’s the road Olympic golf needs to go down to ignite participation and passion in the pursuit of a medal.
When you hear McIlroy speak about it like this, a change to the format really is a no-brainer:
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