Share this article

print logo

Power Take: Big-name withdrawals hurt golf’s future in Olympics

It’s a shame that so many of the world’s top male golfers have made the selfish decision to back out of the coming Olympic Games in Brazil.

Each of the top four players in the world and seven of the top 15 men are out, including Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy.

Meanwhile, none of the top women’s players have withdrawn.

The top men need only to be in Rio de Janeiro a week. They can zip in and out on private jets and use insect repellent to protect themselves from the Zika virus. Thousands of athletes in many sports have visited Brazil in the last two years for test events and not one has been reported to have contracted the virus.

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem is partly to blame for constructing a dumb schedule in which the “2017 season” starts in October 2016. The FedEx Cup playoffs can’t be pushed back to accommodate the Rio trip, making it a jampacked season for the top players.

Nevertheless, the withdrawals hurt golf’s bid to stay in the Games beyond 2020. The top men owe it to the game to play.