Olympics get golf inclusion right, stroke play singles format wrong
Another 72-hole, stroke play golf event. Forgive me if I’m not giddy with excitement for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero, when golf will be on the menu for the first time in over a century.
True, it’s no FedEx Cup format that requires M.I.T. math skills to track, but I don’t understand why the committee resorted to such a pedestrian format. Was is lack of creativity or pure laziness? This is going to leave a lot of golf fans with an about face. Most of whom will agree that omitting any kind of match play event is leaving us all slighted.
And rather than a simple individual medal grab, I’d prefer a team format like NCAA golf, when so many tournaments have a “Play five, count four” event with a four person team score deciding the winner.
Consider this idea: A match play field and a stroke play field, and a golfer chooses which to compete in. A swimmer doesn’t compete in all the strokes, so how about making golfers choose which format they’d rather compete in based on their individual and country’s strengths? And where’s the fourball format? The European countries are likely perturbed Foursomes, their specialty format it seems, is excluded as well.
Following the patriotic displays and team camaraderie of summer’s Solheim Cup and Presidents Cup, the Olympics sure aren’t going to feel like a “country first, team event” if every golfer is entrenched holing out their own ball for 72 holes.
So why introduce golf at all?
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Should have been individual match play.