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PGA Notebook: Olympics a Hot Topic on Tour

Patrick Reed
Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters. Picture Supplied by Action Images.

SAN ANTONIO | Several players in the Valero Texas Open field said the decision by high-profile players like Louis Oosthuizen, Adam Scott and Vijay Singh to bypass this summer’s return of golf to the Olympic Games is understandable and there may be more to come in the near future.

“I get why Adam and some guys don’t want to play in the Olympics,” said Scott’s fellow Australian and past U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy. “It might turn out to be great for the future, but it’s not proven yet.

“The Olympics are the pinnacle for most sports and most athletes, the absolute peak, but we have the four majors. To be honest, there are about 10 tournaments I would rather win than the Olympics.”

While no players interviewed would specifically commit to not playing in the Olympics if they qualified to compete for their nation, the notion that most Tour players are eager for golf’s return in Rio de Janeiro took an Olympic-sized beating.

“The four majors are our metric, what we’re judged on,” said England’s Luke Donald.

“I suppose you would want to play in it once, but does it have to be this year? I don’t know if you would do it this time or maybe next,” added South African Branden Grace.

Several players cited the tightly packed schedule in July and August, which along with the Olympics includes the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, the Open Championship and the PGA Championship. The FedEx Cup playoffs and the Ryder Cup follow not long after the Games.   

“If the Olympics were in Canada or somewhere closer it would be easier,” said Grace. “That’s a long trip down there with the other events we have this summer.”

While American Matt Kuchar said he would be “psyched” to be part of the American team for the Olympics, he said the format, four days of stroke play, hasn’t excited many players. ….. READ FULL ARTICLE



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