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Rory McIlroy withdraws from the Olympics

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48 minutes ago, xcott said:

If these guys are concerned about Zika, they should probably not play in tournaments in the US since it can be contracted here. I'm not buying the Zika excuse.

But that's the one they're selling,lol.

Scott,Oosthuizen,Singh Schwartzel and Leishman already out.

33 minutes ago, Patch said:

Last I heard all the US state side infections were of the folks who had been traveling outside the country when they were infected. 

I also read the CDC is expecting mosquitoes with the virus could easily be in the US by this 2016 summer. It's now summer here. 

I'd say there's more chance of getting dengue fever,Rio de Janeiro is a great place for a break but not to play golf.Speaking personally of course, I worked there for 2 years.

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1 hour ago, newtogolf said:

I agree, as it gets closer we will see a lot of other big names pull out.  Zika is just one of a few reasons not to want to go there but it's the most politically correct reason to cite.  If I was a pro golfer, there's no way I'd risk going to Brazil just to play golf in the same exact format as every other week on the Tour.  If the format were partners match play or male / female teams it might have evoked more national spirit but these guys represent their country every week.    

I think Zika is a bit of an excuse for guys not to go. I may be wrong on this, but I don't think there are a lot of guys motivated by competing in the Olympics. The field is weaker and it's coming after a very busy travel schedule where most guys are going from the States to Scotland to Ohio to Jersey in the matter of a few weeks and playing every day. I don't know the answer to this question, but do you even win prize money at the Olympics?

Edited by ChrisP

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9 minutes ago, ChrisP said:

but do you even win prize money at the Olympics?

Countries can give prize money, the olympics does not directly give prize money. 

I don't think anyone has a duty to go to the olympics. While I'd like the best in the world I can't fault them. I also can't fault them for using a pre made zika excuse because if they told the truth they'd be unfairly criticized.

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I agree it's a convenient excuse, I also agree many more will decline, Pro golfers just don't need this, it offers nothing for them, play for your country? who cares? this isn't the 40's, it's not enough for people today, money talks, not a flag.

They should just move to amateurs only and maybe have the PGA tour offer some incentive for the medals, those people would want to play, and it would still be fun to watch, everything is good.

Edited by MrDC

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Feherty and Rory talked about the Olympics on the most recent show, filmed right after Rory's Irish Open win.

Feherty asked about what country Rory would represent, as if to question his Ireland credentials.  Something about him spending much of his life outside Ireland, so the Irish not considering him Irish?

Seemed like a very strange question to me at the time - I've only known Rory as an Irishman.

Now I'm wondering if there's any merit to the line of questioning, given Rory's dropping out.

Of course, Feherty is a recent Irish-turned-American, so maybe the question has more to do with Feherty than Rory.  :)

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TV has been asking questions regarding the Olympics of the top contending players for at least 6 months. I've yet to see a lick of excitement in any player's response. 

I can't say I'm surprised at Rory's or any others' decisions to not go to Rio. 

Golf is hard work for these players. It's their profession. It's more an individual sport than any other. There's no big purses involved in the Olympics. While it may seem greedy on the face of it to some, I personally, completely understand. 

I believe we'll see many others withdraw. 

That being said, I'll still watch it regardless of the field.

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I dont blame any of the top mens players for opting out of the Olympics. Its a pointless exhibition for them and considering a top 100 players' travel schedule in that point of the year, it could just be too much. The Zika thing gives them a convenient excuse. 

The Women's game needs the Olympic stage. Its probably the biggest event in the history of women's golf. But i wouldn't condemn any of the top women's players if they opted out, either. 

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[threadjack]

As an aside - I don't need golf in the Olympics.

The Olympics to me is about all the sports I never otherwise hear about - track & field, gymnastics, etc.

Having golf there - especially as golf is such an international sport already - just doesn't do it for me.

I also have always considered the Olympics as a place to highlight the amateur, so these high paying pro sports just don't seem to fit.

[/threadjack]

Edited by wannabe

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14 minutes ago, jkelley9 said:

TV has been asking questions regarding the Olympics of the top contending players for at least 6 months. I've yet to see a lick of excitement in any player's response. 

I can't say I'm surprised at Rory's or any others' decisions to not go to Rio. 

Golf is hard work for these players. It's their profession. It's more an individual sport than any other. There's no big purses involved in the Olympics. While it may seem greedy on the face of it to some, I personally, completely understand. 

I believe we'll see many others withdraw. 

That being said, I'll still watch it regardless of the field.

The only players I've seen excited for and about playing golf in the Olympics are the female pros. As @Groucho Valentine mentioned, it's a much bigger stage for the women than it is for the men right now. I don't necessarily discount the fear of Zika either, especially for the younger players who are actually looking at starting a family soon or are already in the process of building their family. I'm not saying it's the complete reason why they would back out or refuse, but it is a legitimate reason in addition to there not being any real benefit to playing.

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I would think that sports such as basketball, tennis, golf, soccer, etc. are not well served by their inclusion into the Olympics.  The athletes in these sports are high paid and highly visible on a week to week or season to season basis via 24/7 sports networks.  Many on them don't really want to take time away from their high paid livelihood and risk injury or just want to get a break to re-energize.  The Olympics also competes with established international competitions such as the Ryder and President's Cups and soccer's World Cup.

Since there is such a proliferation of sports media available for specific sports/events, the Olympic coverage is generally poor at best for some of the events.  The IOC may want to re-think the inclusion of mainstream (whatever that is) professional sports and concentrate on the more traditional track and field, swimming, wrestling, rowing, etc. "non-sports center" events.

Let's face it, there was not too much buzz about Serena winning the gold in tennis or USA winning basketball gold.

John

Edited by 70sSanO

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Olympic golf field is now going to look like the teams that play in the World Cup ;-)

Wonder if Spieth is also going to skip it.

 

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5 hours ago, Scotsclaff said:

No surprise there.

The olympics may need golf but golf doesn't need the olympics.

I don't think the Olympis "needs" golf either. They're giving the sport another chance partly because baseball wasn't representing its best athletes, but if this tournament is a disaster and half the pros that qualify opt out, they're likely to take golf back out of the games.

2 hours ago, Valleygolfer said:

Pretty much every week is the "Olympics". If you are good enough in the game, you can play against the best in the world.

You must not understand much about other sports if you think this is exclusive to golf. Track & field sports, gymnastics, swimming, et al, all compete fairly regularly on the internatuinal level.

1 hour ago, wannabe said:

[threadjack]

As an aside - I don't need golf in the Olympics.

The Olympics to me is about all the sports I never otherwise hear about - track & field, gymnastics, etc.

Having golf there - especially as golf is such an international sport already - just doesn't do it for me.

I also have always considered the Olympics as a place to highlight the amateur, so these high paying pro sports just don't seem to fit.

[/threadjack]

I supported golf in the Olympics orignally, but TBH I probably wasn't going to (and probably won't) watch golf during the Olympics anyway.

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Brazil as a country appears to be in shambles right now and getting worse, I'm surprised any of the big names are willing to venture down there.

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I once read a good definition of what sports should be in the olympics

 

1. must have international appeal. Lots of countries participating

 

2. The olympics would be it's most important competition

 

Golf is yes on 1 no on 2.

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, billchao said:

You must not understand much about other sports if you think this is exclusive to golf. Track & field sports, gymnastics, swimming, et al, all compete fairly regularly on the internatuinal level.

I don't watch or pay any attention to any Olympic sports so you are right. If they are already doing this, what is the point to the Olympics when we have a world ranking in every sport already.

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I recently last minute cancelled on a wedding trip to the Caribbean due to the Zika virus. My travel agent and other agents I know all warned that the threats are absolutely legit.  It was my call to make and I decided to not risk it (and others did the same thing).

IIRC, Rory was one of the most vocal PGA Tour Pros on what a privilege and how much it would mean to him to compete in the Olympics.  So to me, to go from that (complete enthusiasm) to now withdrawing tells me he's obtained further information on the risks.  He more than likely weighed the options and probably said, "why even go?"  He's young, has a new lady in his life and considering this isn't a make or break event, it's a simple decision really and I don't think there is anything really more to it than that.

If the Zika virus didn't exist, and there weren't so many other unknowns (there is also talk about some super bacteria lingering too?), I'm pretty sure he would have gone.

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I would be more concerned with the raw sewage flowing from the favelas into the bay and the possibility of gang violence than zika but zika is a much more PC reason. 

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2 hours ago, Groucho Valentine said:

I dont blame any of the top mens players for opting out of the Olympics. Its a pointless exhibition for them and considering a top 100 players' travel schedule in that point of the year, it could just be too much. The Zika thing gives them a convenient excuse. 

The Women's game needs the Olympic stage. Its probably the biggest event in the history of women's golf. But i wouldn't condemn any of the top women's players if they opted out, either. 

While these multimillionaires don't need the Olympics I would not say it's a pointless exhibition. Athletes play for love of country all the time. Including the men's BB team. Golf is not a team game in the Olympics but playing for their country is still meaningful to these guys. Not Ryder Cup important but still significant.

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