My personal golfing ability is poor (to say the least), as I’ve never shot a round under 100. Despite this, I still find myself following the prestigious Masters Tournament and and our very own Lydia Ko on her never ending run of form.
So when I heard Golf was going to return to the Olympics in 2016 for first time since 1904, I, like many, was genuinely excited. But unfortunately for this great return of Golf, things have gone very, very wrong.
To summarise it in short, the top 4 male golfers in the world have pulled out of the 2016 Rio Olympics sighting concerns over the deadly Zika virus. Now as a 16 year old, I am certainly not a medical professional who can give a definitive answer over what is right and wrong, but Zika has been proven to cause more harm to pregnant woman and their offspring than anything else. It has also been proven that only 1 in 5 infected people show the fever-like symptoms. Other athletes from other sports have also pulled out, but the ones concerned about the virus still remain the minority. You can make your own mind up on whether the excuse is well founded.
The top 4 male golfers who have pulled out so far (in order of world rankings) are, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. The latter of the four, McIlroy, also caused even more uproar and controversy when he claimed that he wouldn’t even watch Golf at the Olympics and would prefer to watch Track and Field.
So why is this such as big deal? Why as a teenager should we even give a damn? Isn’t it just a game at the end of the day? What these stars of golf are doing is setting a bad example for anyone who isn’t yet an adult, teenagers and children alike. These stars are teaching us is that if you get invited to something massive but you can’t be bothered going, then just don’t. Even as a 16 year old, I’ve worked out that in life we don’t always get what we want and sometimes we just have to suck things up and do it.
Jordan Spieth set an incredible example to everyone when he became the 2nd youngest man to win The Masters tournament in 2015. He also equalled the aggregate course record set by Tiger Woods in 1997. Rory McIlroy is the face of the PGA tour video game series for Xbox One and PS4 which gives him extra exposure to children! These are the heroes of golf, and when children and teenagers see them sit on the sidelines for one of the largest global events – it gives them the urge to do the same.
In all honesty, Golf’s return to the Olympics has really upset me. Sport is only as good as the stars who play it, we watched Rugby for Richie and Cricket for McCullum – without them, the respective sports would not be as big as they are now.
With the top four of Golf down and out, that realistically leaves the fifth seeded golf player in the best contention for gold. But do you even know who he is? I didn’t, and all of you out there reading, you now know that it’s Bubba Watson from the USA. In comparison, I’m sure most of you (who roughly follow Golf) knew that Australian Jason Day is the World Number 1… If you did, I rest my case.
Author: Steven Walton
Steven Walton is a 16 year old student currently attending St Andrews College in Christchurch, New Zealand. He was brought up with two older brothers and his big passions are sports (especially motorsport), people and writing. He runs his own motorsport blog, Green Flag F1 (www.greenflagf1.com) and is aspiring to be a journalist when he is older.”