• Rory McIlroy also revealed he was 'pleasantly surprised' by Rio
• But Adam Scott was unwavering in his stance on the Olympics
JORDAN SPIETH | THE OLYMPICS
Jordan Spieth has admitted that, after watching golf at the Olympics, he wished he made the trip down to Rio de Janeiro for the tournament.
The 23-year-old, who agonised over his decision before making the announcement on the eve of this year’s Open Championship, cited ‘general health concerns’ for skipping the tournament – something that he looks back on now with a tinge of regret.
"I wished I was there" - Jordan Spieth
“At the time ,” said Jordan Spieth ahead of The Barclays. “I watched it and really enjoyed it. It came off tremendously for the game. I enjoyed watching the finish to the Olympics and I wished I was there.
“The potential for regret was going to be there and it certainly was while I was watching, so that's why I tweeted, ‘I'm looking forward to setting it as a goal to be there in 2020’.”
Rory McIlroy, who said during Open Championship week that he’d only be watching the ‘sports that matter’ in the Olympics, ended up tuning into the finale as Justin Rose outlasted Henrik Stenson and revealed that his opinion on the event was altered after watching the action.
“It pleasantly surprised me,” he said. “It was nice to be proven wrong somewhat in terms of, like I thought golf was sort of going to get lost a little bit.
"I was glad to be somewhat proven wrong" - Rory McIlroy
“It was away from the village; I thought it was going to, yeah, just sort of blend in with everything else and be, not forgotten about, but just one of a lot of sports that are there obviously. But to see the crowds and see the turnout, I was glad to be somewhat proven wrong.”
And McIlroy's retraction drew praise on Twitter from arguably Olympic golf's biggest cheerleader, Gary Player, who said he now admires the Northern Irishman more than ever.
— Gary Player (@garyplayer) August 25, 2016
Dustin Johnson added: “I thought it was great. I would have loved to have gone and played. But to me the risk wasn't worth it. So that was the reason I didn't go. But I would have really liked to have gone. I think it would be a neat experience and a lot of fun, and especially winning a gold medal would be even more fun.”
Read more -> Justin Rose: Rio no-shows 'missed out'
But Aussie duo Jason Day and Adam Scott were unwavering in their lack of regret over their Rio no-shows.
“I don't have any regrets,” said Day. “The decision was the decision. It was based on family and you don't have any regrets whenever you base your stance on something bigger than yourself, and it was for me and my family.”
Read more -> Justin Rose wins Olympic gold - Twitter reacts
Scott, meanwhile, maintained his opinion that the Olympics should be for amateurs and doubted that the Olympic stage could grow the game as widely as is being documented.
"I think it's very hard for the professionals to fit in the Olympic system" - Adam Scott
“I guess it depends how you see growth,” he said. “I mean, if you look at Australia, it hasn’t really grown basketball. Our league was probably bigger then than it is now. I mean, some of these things are what sports are popular in what countries and what the cultures are.
“Golf can be popular everywhere; it's just how many people will play it. I still believe that in the long term, I think it would be very easy to make it a very big deal for golf and the growth with amateurs playing the Olympics. I think it's very hard for the professionals to fit in the Olympic system at the moment, unless events are willing to sacrifice a lot.”
Jordan Spieth :: Rio regrets
Having missed the Olympics, what do you make of the likes of Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy now admitting they were wrong over Rio? Leave your thoughts in the 'Comments' section below.