Adam Scott is too busy to try and win a gold medal at the Rio Olympic Games.
In a move that shines some perspective on the newly added golf tournament, the world number explained that his packed schedule, as well as increasingly busy family life, meant he was unable to commit to being part of the Australian team in Brazil.
“My decision has been taken as a result of an extremely busy playing schedule around the time of the Olympics and other commitments, both personal and professional,” Scott said in a statement issued via his management company.
“I have informed the Australian team captain (Ian Baker-Finch) and relevant authorities, who are understanding of my position and I wish the Australian Olympic team the very best of luck in Rio.”
Golf will return as an Olympic event for the first time since 1904 but with it has come the debate about the value of the tournament and the place of highly-paid professional athletes at the Games.
Jason Day has already declared his availability and if Scott had chose to join him, it would have given Australia a huge chance at gold in the traditional individual stroke play event.
That spot may now fall to someone like Marc Leishman, who at 34 is Australia’s next highest ranked golfer on the world standings. Marcus Fraser, Steve Bowditch and Cameron Smith are among the other options.
While some of the sport’s brightest stars, including American world number one Jordan Spieth, have put their weight behind the event, it continues to polarise, much like the Olympic tennis tournament.
Scott has hardly been glowing in his previous discussions about playing, so it should come as little surprise he has decided to pull the pin. His main focus has always been golf’s four majors, with August often allowing players a short break in a busy schedule.
The tennis event has slowly grown in popularity with leading players and golf may yet do the same. Still only 35, Scott may rethink his stance should be still be among the world’s leading players in 2020.
“We’re obviously disappointed Adam will not play because he’s one of the best players in the world but we understand his position,” Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt told the body’s website.
“This means one of our other elite players will get the chance and we’re more than happy that we will field a very strong team in Rio.
“We will have at least four great golfers compete for Australia in Brazil and we’re very excited for what that means to golf in this country and more broadly around the world.”
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