When golf made its return at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after a 112-year absence, many followers of the sport were dubious about reintroducing golf to the Olympic programme.
The Golf Show by Betfred delves into the upcoming men’s golf schedule at Tokyo 2020, as Sean Molyneaux was joined by Simon Dyson to preview.
Discussing golf’s return to the Summer Games in 2016, Dyson admitted that many were filled with uncertainty about competing in the Olympics, but added that the sport’s inclusion was ‘great’.
“It went so well,” Dyson said. “It’s great to see it – it brings a whole new dimension into golf. We’ve got all of these other little things like the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Trophy but to bring golf back into the Olympics was great.
“They’re not playing for money, they’re playing for pride. They want that gold medal. You ask Justin Rose and that gold medal will be up there with his major, guaranteed.
“It’s every four years and it will give the golfers a newfound respect for what the Olympians go through – four years of training and preparing themselves for this one event.
“I don’t know whether I could do it, to be an Olympian, and dedicate those four years to the next Olympics. It must be brutal but the award at the end of it is that gold medal and that’s what everybody craves.”
Molyneaux hypothesised that golf’s prestige in the Olympics will build at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Games, as the pair discussed Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau’s positive COVID-19 tests that forced the duo to withdraw.
Dyson added: “We’re seeing a lot more of the top players playing this year. With it being such a small field, a lot of these guys will be going there thinking there’s only six or eight to beat because you get all these other countries and there will be a lot lower down golfers.
“The standard will be stacked very top-heavy and the three picks I’ve gone for are very good golfers. I don’t think you’re going to find somebody from a lesser-known country winning a tournament like this.”