With all the question and doubt leading up to golf making it’s return to the Olympics after a 112 year absence, it sort of all seems silly after what we witnessed this weekend, doesn’t it?
I give golf in the Olympics an A+.
Before the excitement on Sunday, before Matt Kuchar shot a 63 to win the U.S. a bronze medal, before 2013 U.S. Open Champion — Justin Rose and this year’s Champion Golf of the Year — Henrik Stenson battled it out down the stretch, there was all the fun and build-up before play began on Thursday.
Rickie Fowler brought us all in with a bang at the Opening Ceremonies. Showing everyone how much fun he was having at the Olympic festivities.
Even his fellow USA teammates were joining in on the action while they were back in the states, playing at the Travelers Championship — having to miss the Opening Ceremonies.
— Teryn Schaefer (@TerynS_PGATOUR) August 5, 2016
Then we saw all the golfers hanging out and supporting the other Olympic athletes and sports, having the time of their lives.
— Justin Rose (@JustinRose99) August 14, 2016
Never had any of these golfers ever dreamt that they would have the opportunity to participate in the Olympics. Golf had not been a part of the Olympic Games since 1904. These players grew up dreaming of winning majors, not medals. And suddenly they were grouped along with other Olympic athletes — the joy of their experience was inspiring to follow.
Even former players were speaking to how incredible an opportunity this would be, one they missed out on during their playing days. Golf legend and great Gary Player was so pumped he took it upon himself to go and even stay in the Olympic Village despite being retired from the game for several years now.
— Gary Player (@garyplayer) August 9, 2016
Some may still talk about those that weren’t there, those that chose to opt-out of the Olympics despite qualifying. But it doesn’t matter. The game of golf won this week and those like Brazil’s Adilson da Silva, who had the honor of taking the first tee shot of the tournament in his home country are who had the greatest impact. Da Silva and others representing even the smallest of countries are who made an impression on viewers and sports fans, that may have never seen golf — people that may now be casual golf fans or know just a little more about it because they were exposed to the game through the Olympics.
Whoever said @OlympicGolf didn’t mean anything must’ve been on drugs cause this is absolutely amazing!!Coming to Rio, my best decision ever!
— Sergio Garcia (@TheSergioGarcia) August 13, 2016
And then there are the golf fans that already had a love for the game. Those like me who loved following the players on and off the course this week in Rio. Even other pro golfers were inspired as well.
— Daniel Berger (@DanielBerger59) August 14, 2016
— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) August 14, 2016
Thrilled for Rosie, Henrik & Kuch, but all golfers in Rio this week should be proud.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) August 14, 2016
After this week I’m all in on golf in the Olympics. I give it’s debut an A+ and hope to see it in the Olympics for years to come.
Olympics photo courtesy of Getty Images