• Brands them 'a pack of spoiled athletes'
• Dismisses Zika concerns as 'a convenient excuse'
OLYMPIC GOLF | DAVID LEADBETTER
Top coach David Leadbetter has blasted the male golfers who decided to swerve the Olympic Games, sensationally branding them ‘a pack of spoiled athletes’.
Leadbetter, whose star pupil Lydia Ko goes for gold in the women’s event this week, is quoted by Stuff.co.nz as saying that Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player are also furious at the likes of Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – all of whom skipped the event – and said that the Zika virus had been a ‘convenient excuse’ for those who wanted to sit out the Games.
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“I speak to Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus and they are irate at all the male golfers giving Rio a swerve,” said Leadbetter. “So much work has gone into getting golf into these Olympics. They are a pack of spoiled athletes.”
He was particularly scathing of one of his former pupils, Charles Howell III, pictured below, whom he described as a ‘money machine’.
Leadbetter said: “He has won close to $30m. Last year he qualified for the Open and he didn't bother to come over for it. What are they playing this game for? Sometimes I question their philosophy."
On the subject of Zika, Leadbetter said that there was a ‘one in half a million chance that anyone is in danger’.
"The women think that maybe the men are paid so much that they are spoiled and not hungry" - David Leadbetter
“It's just a convenient excuse,” he went on. “At least Adam Scott was honest and said it didn't fit in with his schedule.
“The women think that maybe the men are paid so much that they are spoiled and not hungry. It's a very competitive event for the women. Inbee Park was dying to get in. The Olympics meant more than defending her Open title.”
Leadbetter also said that, for Ko, with whom he is pictured above, the event would ‘mean a little more than even a major’.
"It's not just for herself, but for her country,” he said. “She's gung-ho the fact she has a chance to win a gold medal.
"Gold needs to make this work" - David Leadbetter
"Tennis wasn't such a big thing when it first came into the Olympics. But look at Andy Murray in London. He will always have that gold medal. Golf needs to make this work."
Do you agree with David Leadbetter?
Top coach David Leadbetter says the male golfers who skipped the Olympic Games are ‘a pack of spoiled athletes’. Do you agree/disagree? Leave your thoughts in our ‘Comments’ section below.