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The Farce That Is Olympic Golf


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#1
SpartanIlliniCub

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Olympic golf is a farce.  Olympic golf is a joke.  And yet we are going to be forced to watch Olympic golf this year instead of Olympic softball. 

 

If you remember, back in 2005 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted to drop baseball and softball for the 2012 London Games, and in their place the IOC added golf and rugby.

 

I'm sure the members of the IOC thought this would be a great way get cozy with famous pro golfers like Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, but it has not worked out that way.  The best golfers in the game are excusing themselves from the 2016 Rio Games in droves and, after looking at some of the facts surrounding Olympic golf, the sad situation is, it makes sense.

 

Simply stated, money talks.  Pro golfers are paid--quite handsomely in fact--whereas most Olympians earn nothing for their efforts.  A trip to Rio would mean missing the John Deere Classic in Illinois with its $4.8 million grand prize. And after the Olympics, players would need to race back to North Carolina to compete in the Wyndham Championship with its $5.4 million grand prize.

 

As a matter of fact, golf is already an international event almost every weekend of the summer--all the best  golfers in the world already compete in a flagship series of annual tournaments known as the PGA Tour.  And there is already an Olympic-style event called the Ryder Cup, where golfers compete on teams divided by country.

 

The Olympics is supposed to be the ultimate international event, but the Olympics will be no different than any of the four golf majors that happen every year. 

 

So it's no surprise that big name pro golfers are fleeing the Olympics like a sweet drive down the fairway.  The top four in the golf world--Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIllroy--have all dropped out.  Many golfers are citing concerns over Zika virus, but most media pundits believe that is just a convenient excuse to skip playing for no pay, so they can rest up and focus on events that actually earn them some cash.

 

Olympic golf is a farce, and this farce is part of the reason why softball is not in the Olympics this year.  Olympic softball had all of the best athletes in the world lining up to play for it, while Olympic golf has only second-tier no-name players.



#2
CatOsterFan

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Ha!  Just to think that the dreams of those crusty members of the IOC would be dashed makes me very happy.  The IOC is a corrupt, soulless, and hypocritical entity worried only about money, despite extolling the virtues of international amateur (ie non-paid) competition.  Sick.

 

And don't forget: the golfer's overall season standings in the PGA Tour and their world ranking and possible endorsement deals are all affected if they miss PGA Tour events.  So these golfers stand to lose a lot of money by going to the Olympics.

 

How many gold medals do you think Rory McIlroy could buy with $4.8 million in winnings?  The gold weight alone is worth about $24,000.  Those who sell their medals on the open market earn somewhere between $80,000 and $300,000.  That means Rory could purchase between 16 and 60 gold medals with the winnings from one minor PGA tournament.

 

Tell me, would you choose Olympics or PGA Tour?  If you choose Olympics, you are an idiot ;)



#3
FaspitchPapa

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Let's not be too critical of Olympic golf until we actually see it.  I can see the big name golfers being a bit hesitant about joining in for the first iteration of Olympic golf.  It may not go as smoothly as hoped for and the big name golfers have deserved the right to let the games work all the kinks out.

 

But once those big name golfers see other lesser golfers get international exposure and see the tears stream from their faces as they accept medals on behalf of their countries I think the big names may come around. 

 

You just wait.  They will catch the Olympic spirit and be ready to go for 2020.



#4
MammaZord

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I agree that Olympic golf is a farce for all the mentioned reasons. But, do you know what's interesting? The top tennis players in the world all take part in the Olympics even though, like golf, their tournaments are already a showdown of the world's best players.

 

As far as missing out on paid tournaments in favor of playing in the Olympics, the next big tennis tournament is the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, which normally features the top men's and women's players (Serena won it last year).  The W&S Open starts on the same day as the gold medal matches for men's and women's singles (Aug. 14th), so I doubt many players will take part (certainly not the players that make it to the medal round).

 

Here are some of the names of tennis players competing in Rio: Djokovic, both Williams sisters, Murray, Wozniaki, Nadal, Hingis, Monfis, del Potro....  Andy Murray was chosen to be the flag bearer for the United Kingdom for the opening ceremony and he called it "the biggest moment of my career." I would assume that many other players are equally proud to represent their country at the Olympics. 

 

 Moral of the story: golf in the Olympics is an unmitigated disaster, but maybe it's because the top golfers just care more about $$$?? 






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