• Sir Matthew Pinsent said he's a fan of golf's Olympic return
• Thinks golf's Olympic impact could be similar to that of tennis
JUSTIN ROSE | OLYMPIC GAMES
Justin Rose can prove the doubters wrong about golf at the Olympic Games, says British Olympic legend and four-time gold medallist Sir Matthew Pinsent.
Keen golfer Pinsent, president of Stoke Park Golf & Country Club, revealed that unlike a lot of Olympians past and present – including David Wilkie and Sally Gunnell – he was always a fan of golf’s return to the Olympic fold.
"I was always a fan of golf coming in" - Sir Matthew Pinsent
And he feels that 2013 US Open champion Justin Rose, who has posted extensively on social media about representing Team GB, can help capture the country’s imagination and make golf appreciated as an Olympic sport.
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“I was always a fan of golf coming in,” said Pinsent. “All you need is Justin Rose to win a gold medal for Team GB and say ‘this is up there with the best experience in golf'.
“He has already said how proud is to be representing Team GB, to be fair to him, and the rest of the team will embrace someone like him who gets involved. It's a unique experience to pull on an international shirt with the Olympic rings on it. It is totally different to anything else.”
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Pinsent also hailed the importance the Olympics could have in growing golf to other parts of the globe and likened the sport’s introduction to that of tennis back in 1988.
“The Olympics is incredibly strong in Europe, the Commonwealth and USA, but it struggles in Africa, South America and Asia, to a great extent. For example, the Olympics is tiny in India. They want to grow into areas where they are not as a strong, so golf is an interesting move.
"It's a relatively small number of golfers but they could spark a moment in Fiji, Indonesia or Japan - an area where they otherwise might not reach.
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“Look at tennis when it first came back in, it was awful. The huge names of the sport didn't go. It's taken a while for it to grow but look at London when Andy Murray won and all of the top names were there.
“I don't think Andy stayed in the Olympic Village and nobody expects him to share a room with someone from modern pentathlon or anything like that. But he saw it as important and so does Justin Rose."
About Stoke Park
Stoke Park Country Club, Spa & Hotel is one of just two five-AA Red Star golf clubs in England and the historic land on which it stands is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. It was awarded the accolade of ‘Ultimate Members Club' at the fifth annual 59Club Service Excellence Awards.
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The historic course played host to the PGA Matchplay in 1910 and the golf match between Sean Connery's James Bond and Auric Goldfinger, in the 1964 film, Goldfinger. The golf club is thriving with 800 active members.
Justin Rose :: Can he prove doubters wrong?
Do you agree with Pinsent that Justin Rose and Danny Willett can prove the Olympic doubters wrong in Rio? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.