Wed, Jul 20, 4:14pm by Staff Writer
It’s been 112 years since golf was included as an event in the Olympics and with the virtual boycott from the sport’s elite it has left many pondering as to whether Golf should be making it’s return to the greatest show on earth.
Newly crowned British Open champion Henrick Stenson is one of the few top ranked players who are willing to travel to the XXXI Olympiad. Overseas agencies have installed the Swede at $5.50 favourite in early betting. On the second line in the market is Spain’s Sergio Garcia at $6.50 followed by England’s Justin Rose at $12.
It’s extremely disappointing to see the amount of world-class players withdrawing, citing the Zika virus as their reason. Things got quite heated at the British Open last week when world number one Jason Day was quizzed as to his motives for not travelling.
“If it were in Tokyo I’d be there in a heartbeat” was his response.
Many of the media pack believe that it is money not the tiny risk of contracting the virus that is the real reason. Joining Day on the sidelines are compatriot Adam Scott, last year’s Master’s champ Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlory. The latter fuelling the fire by adding that he won’t even be watching but he will watch the important events at the Olympics.
Interestingly enough the effects of the Zika virus are far more extreme on women but only one female golfer has pulled out of the Olympics to date, Lee-Anne Pace of South Africa.
The overriding emotion for is disappointment, when you see the lengths that the likes of Australia’s swimmers and track and field athletes go to just to compete at an Olympic games; it’s a shame to see golfers treating the greatest show on earth in such a way. Without a doubt, if it were the fifth major they wouldn’t miss it.
The last time that Golf was included as an Olympic sport was 1904 so it’s extremely difficult to set a market on this with no past winners still alive. For what it’s worth at this stage, we’ll be sticking with current form backing the newly crowned British Open champion Henrick Stenson to add an Olympic Gold Medal to his trophy room.
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