God Bless Rory McIlroy. This week at the British Open, he’d finally had enough. Already having made his decision to skip the Olympics weeks ago, the pestering media decided to re-open the case by re-asking him about it in light of Jordan Spieth’s withdrawal.
While Spieth agonized and squirmed, McIlroy just dropped truth bombs.
Things like “no regrets” and “perfectly happy with my decision” were just what was needed at this point. His jab about not watching the Olympic golf, and instead watching the “stuff that matters” was a perfect finishing move to the point he wanted to make: screw the Olympics!
Not that golf couldn’t be, or shouldn’t be a part of the games. We’ll see after 2 or 3 cycles if it has staying power. The larger point that no player wanted to make for fear of being skewered in the press, is that golf doesn’t NEED the Olympics.
The canard that it will help “grow the game” is absurd. The game is a fully-grown-ass-man! It has global reach, already! Look at all the countries that are currently producing top-flight players on the most elite tours.
The dirty secret about Olympic golf is this: there’s a lot of money for certain elements of golf’s “consulting class” in it. Paul McGinley admitted on Golf Channel that he’s currently working on a few projects in Ghana. GHANA! And that’s only possible because some governments will ONLY invest in Olympic sports.
Okay, great. McGinley gets to design a golf course in Ghana for a nice fee. I’m sure there are many instructors who are lining up deals for golf academies in China. Mo money, mo money. That’s fine.
But Rory was the first guy to say emphatically: “Not my monkey, not my circus.”
Good for him. There’s been way too much hyperventilating in the media about this first foray back into the games. Why can’t everyone say: “Well, it’s the first one in 100 years. It’s okay if not everybody plays. Give it a little time, it should get up to speed pretty quick.”
Instead, Brandel Chamblee decided to side with the IOC gangster class, and rip Rory for his comments. Please. Regret those comments the rest of his life? Get real. Golfers, should be sticking up for golfers. Not the IOC gangsters. The common blood of this game, should be thicker than any possible IOC money.
And it would also be nice for a player to say something like this: “If this was London 2012, or Tokyo 2020 it would be a lot easier. Both countries have plenty of great courses ready to go. I don’t think we should be spending millions on a golf course for the Olympics that isn’t going to be used afterward. So if golf has to miss a cycle because the host city doesn’t have a venue, so be it. Not the end of the world.”
The PGA tour stars have also made a weak effort at pointing out they are indeed, PROS. Meaning: “We do this FOR A LIVING!” There should be no shame in that. And unlike say, Carmelo Anthony, they don’t have $100 million guaranteed contracts. And unlike say, Alexander Ovetchkin, their employer isn’t shutting down their workplace for 2 weeks to allow them this time off.
So go ahead, columnists. Write your screeds about greed and hypocrisy. Make irrelevant comparisons to other sports. Carry the IOC’s water by hinting that this might DOOM Olympic golf forever. Oooooh. So scared.
Golf has more to give to the Olympics than the other way around. And luckily for the IOC, most of the top players, and their tours are actually warm to the idea. If you boot golf again from the Olympics, that’s your call.
It’ll just mean more TV time for archery, rowing, and rhythmic gymnastics.