• "It's regrettable to see a few leading players withdraw," he said
• Louis Oosthuizen, Adam Scott and Vijay Singh all won't play
PETER DAWSON | THE OLYMPICS
Former R&A chief Peter Dawson, now president of the International Golf Federation, has branded the decision of some of the world’s leading players to skip this summer’s Olympics as ‘regrettable’.
Louis Oosthuizen joined Adam Scott and Vijay Singh in saying ‘no’ to Rio de Janeiro, with the South African echoing 2013 Masters champion Scott’s views of a ‘busy playing schedule’, while Singh was quoted as saying he’d like to play in the Olympics but ‘you know, the Zika virus and all that crap’.
And in response to the three withdrawals, Dawson felt obliged to comment, saying: “The IGF understands the challenges players face in terms of scheduling this summer and it is regrettable to see a few leading players withdraw from this year's Games.
“The Olympics is the world's greatest celebration of sport and it is exciting and appropriate that golf features in its programme again. Real history will be made at this year's Olympic competitions and it is our belief that the unique experience of competing will live forever with athletes that take part.”
And Dawson has the backing of 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus on that front who, of course, never had the opportunity to participate in the Olympic Games.
“I think that's sad,” Nicklaus told GolfDigest after hearing of Scott’s withdrawal. “I think it's sad for the Olympics and for the game of golf.
“I don't know Adam's circumstances, so I couldn't comment on what he's dealing with. Obviously, he felt like he couldn't play, and if he felt that way, I understand. But it's unfortunate.”
Golf at the Olympics :: Your thoughts
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