Rory McIlroy 'will regret' Rio stance - Player

2016 07 Rory Mc Ilroy1
• Gary Player says Rory McIlroy 'will regret' Olympic stance
• Criticises modern day golf as being 'very, very spoilt'
• Says Zika virus clearly isn't the reason McIlroy withdrew


Gary Player has said Rory McIlroy ‘will regret’ comments he made about the Olympic Games and criticised modern day golf as being ‘very, very spoilt’.

Speaking in an interview with, the South African couldn’t help but show his dismay at four-time major winner McIlroy’s comments, where he said that he would watch the Olympics but only ‘the sports that matter’.

In recent months, Player has strongly defended Rory McIlroy over the detractors of his gym work, which include Brandel Chamblee and Johnny Miller, encouraging him to ‘Keep lifting and keep squatting’.

Read more -> Gary Player brands R&A report 'laughable'

But when it comes to the Olympics, it’s a subject the pair clearly don’t agree on. And after Rory McIlroy’s comments before the Open last week, Gary Player took aim and criticised his initial reason for opting out as being the Zika virus.


Gary Player

“I happen to like Rory McIlroy, I think he’s a very nice man and I don’t want to be an enemy of his, but he’s going to regret saying those statements as he get older,” Gary Player told

“If players are saying they don’t really care and are not going to watch it, then Zika’s not really the reason why they’re not going, is it? I am just delighted to be able to walk under the South African flag as captain of the golf team and to be in that Olympic arena is going to be the joy of my life.

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“I am bitterly disappointed and amazed to see so many golfers withdrawing when there were so many people that worked so hard to get golf back into the Olympics, which would do the game so much good.”

The nine-time major winner then continued his tirade by saying that there’s too much money in golf, before explaining his struggles when he was trying to make it in the game in comparison with the Zika virus that, in addition to Rory McIlroy, has also seen Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth among others withdraw.


The Masters - Par 3 Contest

“Professional golf is now very, very spoilt,” added Player. “They earn so much money that they don’t really have to realise the responsibility that goes with the game. I have begun to think there’s too much money in the game.

“I played golf around the world for 63 years with yellow fever and malaria and then people wanting to kill me for two years because of the apartheid system in South Africa. I played in warzones and here you find people saying they’re not going because of Zika. In America as well every they year they have over 70,000 people killed by guns and by motor cars, which is way more serious than Zika.

“I haven’t heard of one greenkeeper who lives on a golf course every day of his life getting Zika in Rio. The chances of getting Zika are one in 500,000.”

Gary Player :: Do you agree on Rory McIlroy?

Do you agree with Gary Player that Rory McIlroy will regret his Olympic stance and that modern day golf is 'very spoilt'. Leave your thoughts in the 'Comments' section below.

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