Prior to 2016, golf had only been played as an Olympic sport in 1900 and 1904. And now they let any old hobby in...like skateboarding.
In 2016, the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro hosted golf again
- 60 players in total (both men’s and women’s draws) four rounds of stroke play
- top 15 of each gender automatically qualifying (limited to four per country)
- highest ranked players from countries that had not yet already qualified two players
- one spot guaranteed for the host nation
- five spots guaranteed to ensure each continent had at least one representative
- Justin Rose and Inbee Park won gold medals
Earlier this week, the official draws for the “2020” events were set
- None of 2016 Men’s medalists (Rose, Stenson Kuchar) qualified for Tokyo
- 4 of the top 10 from the Men’s side not playing (opt outs and country maximums)
Seems the bigger headlines are who is choosing not to play for various reasons.
In 2016, the Zika virus and resultant birth defects caused many opt outs, whereas this year another virus is causing much more widespread worldwide carnage.
Some notable dropouts:
- Louis Oosthuizen
- Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Fitzpatrick, and Lee Westwood
- Sergio Garcia
- Dustin Johnson
- Adam Scott
Even with Covid now and Zika then, some of the bigger issues revolve around the scheduling nightmare that the Games present.
Olympic Golf is just stuffed forcefully into the middle of the tour season, much like how John Daly gets into his pants...through brute force.
With golf arriving back in 2016, we are starting to wonder if its inclusion is some sort of curse on the Olympics. Here’s hoping the folks in Paris aren’t exclaiming “Zut Alors” before the 2024 Games arrive.