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• Justin Rose has a message for Olympic absentees

• Expects more of them to compete at Tokyo Games

• “It’s an opportunity that comes around so rarely”


Gold medallist Justin Rose has said that the players who skipped golf’s return to the Olympics this year ‘missed out’ and that he expects more of them to feature at the Tokyo Games in 2020.

Rose became golf’s first Olympic gold medallist in 112 years when he held off Henrik Stenson to win in Rio on Sunday.

Read more -> Rose secures gold medal for Team GB

The grandstand finish between two of the world’s top ten players went some way to making up for the fact that so many of the game’s leading lights chose to sit out the event.

“They are going to sit back and realise what a successful event this was” – Justin Rose

The top three players in the world – Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth – all withdrew themselves from consideration for the event, as did the likes of major winners Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel.

Rose, though, believes that they will, in time, regret their decisions.

“All the guys that missed out probably made their decisions for good reasons but I think they are going to sit back and realise what a successful event this was,” said Rose.

“They are all hungry competitors. To be maybe sitting at home and watching other guys get the glory, they are going to want that. That’s what makes them great – wanting experiences like this.”


Golf - Olympics: Day 9

Rose, 36, added that the infrequency of the Olympics – certainly relative to the majors – would also have a bearing on them.

He said: “They are going to have to wait four years, and that’s a big deal and that’s what makes this special. It doesn’t just come around next week.

Read more -> Jason Day watched ‘one hole’ of Olympic golf

“It’s an opportunity that comes around so rarely and I think that I’m certainly happy that it’s sort of fallen on my plate, so to speak. I targeted it, went after it, and therefore, I’m very proud of it, but it is an opportunity that doesn’t come around and hopefully they will take that opportunity in 2020.”

Peter Dawson, the president of the International Golf Federation, echoed Justin Rose’s view that more the big names will take part in Japan in four years’ time.

“I think I’d be surprised if next time around, we don’t get a full turn-out,” said Dawson. “I think what these players have witnessed on television and here in Rio will make them realise they have missed out.”



Dawson, above, added that the IGF was broadly pleased with how the men’s tournament went, with the women’s competition set to tee off on Wednesday.

“We put our heart and soul into it and it was gratifying that on so many levels we had a very successful four days leading up to Justin’s victory yesterday,” said Dawson. “I think we did some good for the game and we are going to have that again Wednesday to Saturday this week when the women play.

“In terms of what can we do better, there are all details that we can improve. But I don’t think we’ll improve the spirit and the enjoyment that people extracted from the last four days.”

Justin Rose’s comments – Your Thoughts

Do you agree or disagree with Justin Rose that the players who skipped golf’s reintroduction to the Olympics will feel as though they missed out? Leave your thoughts in our ‘Comments’ section below.

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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