Gary Player

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 5 (IANS) South African golfing legend Gary Player has criticised golfers who are skipping the Olympic tournament, which starts on August 11 here.

The world’s four top players — Australia’s Jason Day, Americans Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth, and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy — all declined to compete at the Olympics at the Marapendi course, reports Efe.

Player, winner of 165 titles, on Thursday, said he did not understand how so many star golfers could refuse to compete at Rio 2016 due to fear of the Zika virus.

“They don’t want to promote golf, they don’t realise how lucky they are, they don’t realise what the Olympic Games mean to the sport,” Player said.

The 80-year-old said he “would have given anything to play” at this year’s Olympics, even rowing to get to Rio, where golf returns as a sport after an 112-year absence.

South Africans Branden Grace, Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen pulled out of the tournament, leaving only Jaco Van Zyl and Brandon Stone representing their country.

“You have a higher chance of getting killed in an automobile accident or by a gun than by Zika,” Player said.

Player also said the Olympic golf tournament should have been in matchplay format instead of strokeplay, since the former would have been better for spectators.

  • SHARE

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

    Related Posts

    Volgograd hotel jacks prices 20 times for World Cup

    Volgograd, Dec 16: Russias consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor has initiated an administrative case in regard to a hotel in Volgograd for inflating prices by over...

    Bravo doubtful of return to Windies team

    Sharjah, Dec 16: West Windies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo has expressed doubts on his possible return to national colours in any format. Bravo, who last represented the...

    Ranji Trophy: Karnataka favourites against Vidarbha

    Kolkata, Dec 16: Eight-time champions Karnataka will be hot favourites against Vidarbha who are still not sure of the services of India speedster Umesh Yadav...

    Knee injury forces Sania to miss Australian Open

    Kolkata, Dec 16: Indian tennis star Sania Mirza said on Saturday that she will not be taking part in the Australian Open early next year...

    Man Utd still in title race: Matic

    Manchester, Dec 16: Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic said on Saturday that Manchester United are not out of the race for the English Premier League (EPL)...