By Paul Gueorgieff
Editor, Golfer Pacific NZ
Golf at the Olympics: Was it a success at Rio? Should it remain at the Olympics?
They were the burning questions for the sport following it’s re-introduction to the Olympics after an absence of 112 years for men and 116 years for women.
Justin Rose won the men’s gold for Great Britain. Silver went to Henrik Stenson from Sweden and Matt Kuchar of the United States took the bronze.
In the women’s section it was Inbee Park of South Korea who won gold. New Zealand darling Lydia Ko took the silver while the bronze went to Shanshan Feng of China.
Let’s look at the women’s competition first. Given that there are restrictions to the number of players that could represent a country, virtually all of the world’s top women were at Rio de Janeiro. Full marks to the women. It was an excellent competition and the players were effusive at being able to represent their country. You have to remember that for the other 51 weeks of the year they, in the main, are representing themselves.
Now to the men. It was very disappointing that a number of high profile players elected to by-pass the Olympics. But even without them the competition was excellent. Rose and Stenson staged a battle royal in the final round similar to that of a month earlier when Stenson beat Phil Mickelson in the British Open. Once again the players were effusive at being able to represent their country and the final day’s play drew a sell-out crowd of 12,000.
In my book golf was a success at Rio. And in my book golf should remain at the Olympics.
I’m already looking forward to golf at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. And I’m sure there will not be the defections there were at Rio.
The notable absentees at Rio were Jason Day, Jordan Speith, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy. Golfer Pacific can advise that the world’s top four players, of the time, will be at Tokyo. They will all be from South Korea and we can reveal their names as Jay Sun Dae, Joor Dun Speek, Dee Jon Son and Mak Lee Roy.
Golfer Pacific can also reveal the first controversy of the Tokyo Olympics. It is likely the games at Tokyo will be held a year earlier in 2019 because everything is ahead of schedule. You wont read this anywhere else but the main Olympic stadium was completed before the one at Rio. It is currently under a huge tarpaulin, hidden from the prying cameras of the news media until the official launch.
The athletes’ village is already housing 10,000 locals who will be shifted to five star hotels during the games. The Australian competitors don’t like the village and have advised they wont be staying there. The apartments are spotless but the Australians don’t like the attitude of the Japanese. They keep referring to the Aussies as mates.
The Japanese have been very polite in that they refer to the men as Mr Mates and the women as Ms Mates. The Japanese language also allows them to call an older Australia woman as mar mate and a non-meat eating Australian as a vege mate.
The Japanese also have a cash crisis. Spending has come $US10 billion under budget and they don’t know what to do with the extra money. Some of the men golfers are demanding they should share in the cash overflow. The world’s top soccer players are also showing an interest in the money but most are saying it’s only $US10 billion.
Roll on Tokyo.