Golf returns in Rio after a 112 year absence.
In the current issue of Inside Sport magazine, Australian team captain and 1991 British Open winner Ian Baker-Finch, discusses the biggest issues already threatening the stay of the sport at the Olympics beyond Rio, before the event even begins.
Canadian George Lyon, was the last male to win a gold medal in the sport, back at the St Louis games in 1904 (safe to say he won’t be there in Rio to defend his crown). Fast-forward to 2009, golf was re-introduced into the Olympic schedule for 2016 and 2020.
However, after with most of the sports big names, including Aussies Jason Day, Adam Scott, Irishman Rory Mcllroy and American Jordan Spieth all giving Rio a miss, the validity of the field has come into question.
“Just having another 72-hole golf tournament with a weaker-than-most field doesn’t really pique my interest.” Baker-Finch said.
Baker-Finch told IS that he believes making Golf a team event would increase participation
“Golf needs to be a team event. The biggest mistake the IOC made was not making it a team competition and using 72 holes of strokeplay. There would have been fewer withdrawals. We play 72 holes of strokeplay every week of the year. That, and if there were some way we could integrate the men’s and women’s competitions … ”