It may be controversial – to some, anyway – but it certainly wasn’t a surprise. Adam Scott had hinted for long enough that he was unlikely to be part of golf’s return to the Olympics in Rio this summer and now he has delivered official confirmation.
”My decision has been taken as a result of an extremely busy playing schedule around the time of the Olympics and other commitments, both personal and professional,” said the 35-year-old in a statement. “I have informed the Australian team captain [former Open champion Ian Baker-Finch] and relevant authorities, who are understanding of my position and I wish the Australian Olympic team the very best of luck in Rio.”
Golf, of course, is making its return to the Games in Brazil for the first time since 1904, a development that can only be good for the sport in terms of its development in countries where it isn’t necessarily strong at present.
Opinion has been divided, however, about where the new chance to become a gold medallist stands in a game where majors, both for men and women, are the gauge for determining the success or otherwise of careers.
World No 2 Jordan Spieth, for example, is clearly excited about the prospect of competing in an Olympics, as is Catriona Matthew, who sees the opportunity as a perfect bookend to her career along with a Solheim Cup captaincy at Gleneagles in 2019.
Rory McIlroy, on the other hand, sounded lukewarm when he was put on the spot earlier this year. He didn’t hesitate, in fact, in saying he’d prefer to add to his four major titles than have a gold medal hanging around his neck. “I think a major championship is the pinnacle of our sport,” declared McIlroy. “I think I’ll be remembered for my major championships. All I’ve dreamed of from a little kid is winning majors. I never dreamed of competing in the Olympics or winning an Olympic medal. So in my mind, a major will always be more important.” Scott clearly shares that view and shouldn’t be criticised for doing so. He’s proved for a long time now that he’s a credit to his sport and nothing has changed.