Approximately 100 days from the start of the Olympic Games in mosquito-threatened and politically turbulent Rio de Janeiro, golf’s return to the Games is off to an uninspiring start.
It’s never a good thing when one of the organizing bodies, in this case the International Golf Federation, feels compelled to issue a statement regarding the “regrettable” decision by some top players to bypass the Games as Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen and Vijay Singh have so far done.
They may not be the last big names to excuse themselves from the Games before they’ve begun – in golf’s case – for the first time in 112 years.
The announcements have created the expected sparks of disappointment.
Australian Dawn Fraser, who won eight swimming medals in the 1950s and ’60s, wrote in a Facebook post regarding Scott’s decision: “Well done Adam great to put your country on hold so that you can fulfill your own schedule. How much money do you want in life? Not showing much for your country.”
Jack Nicklaus chimed in as well.
“I think it’s sad for the Olympics and for the game of golf,” Nicklaus said at a charity function last week.
Nicklaus said golf has developed a sense of momentum and having some top players skip the Games could have a negative effect. Golf is not assured to be in the Games after 2016. It could go the way of croquet and tug of war, while dancing and bowling are lobbying for inclusion in future Games.
The decisions are disappointing but understandable. Scott had been hinting at it for weeks.
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