AKRON, OH (June 29, 2016) -- Speaking earlier today at Firestone Country Club, the site of this week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational Adam Scott advocated that the top amateurs in the world should compete in the Olympics. Scott said that having the elite amateur golfers in the Olympics would help "grow the game."
Scott, from Australia, is among the many top professional golfers to remove their name from Olympic consideration. Among the players to already withdraw from Rio are Jason Day and Rory McIlroy.
“If I think back to when I was 16 or 17 years old and a promising golfer, making the Olympics would be something that I’d want to do very much and also be a very big deal,” Scott said will talking to the media at Firestone Country Club. “I think having a young golfer aspire to be an Olympian is more realistic as an amateur than a professional. It’s just not going to happen for many as a professional, especially the way the qualification system works at the moment.”
For a professional golfer the Olympics comes at a very busy time of the season with many of the years biggest tournaments occurring in a rapid succession. Olympic year or not the July-September schedule is an already demanding travel period with the world's elite golfers crisscrossing the globe.
However, for an amateur golfer what a feather in their hat an Olympic medal would be? It would hands down be the biggest event on their schedule.
Of course the qualifying format would have to ironed out, but I for one would love to see the traditional stroke-play format combined with a team aspect.
The Olympics were originally contested only by amateur's and it wasn't until the last few decades that professionals started to become a part of the event.
Remember the 1980 U.S. Hockey team? That team was stock full of college players, all amateur athletes.
Golf is guaranteed a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, however a vote will be held next year to decide the fate of the sport moving forward.
At this point it appears clear that Olympic golf needs a shot in the arm and with many of top professionals not appearing in Rio, opening up the field to amateur golfers in 2020 could be just the answer the IOC is looking for.
-Information for this article came Will Gray of GolfChannel.com