Golf proves it belongs in Olympics during Rio Games

RIO DE JANEIRO – Apologies for jumping ahead here and for not putting together a formal PowerPoint presentation, but fresh off golf’s fortnight in the Olympics, it seemed like an opportune time to sign the game’s Olympic scorecard.

We know this will be an ongoing process and a final decision on golf’s future in the Olympics won’t be made until September 2017 when the International Olympic Committee finalizes the Games’ program beyond 2020 during its session in Lima, Peru.

You’ll be busy looking at every Olympic event before then so we’ll keep this concise – golf has proven it deserves it spot on the podium.

“We are going to tick a lot of boxes here,” said Peter Dawson, president of the International Golf Federation on Saturday in Rio. “We’re not complacent. There is a lot of competition for staying in the Olympic Games with all the various events. We’re going to put golf’s credentials forward the best way we can.”

Specifically those boxes include spectator interest, television ratings, commercial success and how the players behaved while in Rio.

And, of course, the competitive purity of the events, but on that it’s best to let the athletes do the talking.

“Anybody making the decision [whether golf remains in the Olympics beyond 2020] going forward, I would just ask them, ‘Were you in Rio on Sunday?’” Justin Rose said.

If you weren’t in Rio for the final round of the men’s competition, or perhaps you were under a rock, the CliffsNotes recap will suffice: Rose and Henrik Stenson went toe-to-toe until the last hole in the men’s competition, where the Englishman secured the gold medal in dramatic fashion with a birdie. Just for good measure, American Matt Kuchar tied the then-course record (63) in the final round to win the bronze medal.

On the women’s front, former world No. 1 Inbee Park beat current No. 1 Lydia Ko in a rout for the gold medal, but the competition for the silver and bronze medals also came down to the last hole.

Yep, that happened.

“If you can’t see golf in the Olympics after two fantastic weeks back-to-back you can’t have much of a sporting heart,” said Norway’s Suzann Pettersen, who was a part of golf’s original bid to re-enter the Games in 2009.

Source : The Golf Channel

posted at 22 Aug 2016 01:35:17

 



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