Would your favorite players rather win a Olympic gold medal or a major? Find out.

Sharon Wong
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

SEE ALSO: Why Inbee Park is less than thrilled for Rio 2016

The golf world has been abuzz since golf became an Olympic sport again just in time for Rio 2016. An Olympic gold medal is a thing to covet on any self-respecting athlete’s resume, but how big a deal is it to golfers whose patron game has been dismissed as irrelevant by the world’s biggest sporting event for an inexplicable 112 years? Here’s what some of the world’s top golfer’s had to say now that it was their turn to deal out that precious validation.

Jordan Spieth

Source: Getty Images

Some self-deprecating humor…

“If you won a gold medal for your country in the Olympics, some day you could go ahead and lie and say it was for triathlon or whatever and seem like a real athlete.”

Haha, no. For real, this time…

Source: Getty Images

“To be honest, I don’t know. It’s unsure and will be I think unsure for 10 to 20 years how significant a gold medal would be in golf. For me, the way I look at it right now, I look at them equal. It’s very early to tell how they will end up comparing to major championships in the future. If I had not won a major, I would probably still say a major (over a medal). At this point I would argue that I gold medal would be very, very special.”

Sounds like he’s leaning towards… yes? Either way, he’s neatly summed up the dilemma a lot of other top golfers are possibly facing. After all, golf’s been doing pretty great without the Olympics for well over a century.

Rory McIlroy

Source: AFP

Rory, however, has virtually no doubt on his mind.

“I think a major championship is the pinnacle of our sport… I think I’ll be remembered for all my major championships. So all I’ve dreamed of from a little kid is winning majors. I never dreamed of competing in the Olympics or winning an Olympic medal. So in my mind, a major will always be more important.”


Rickie Fowler

 (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Source: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

And there’s more flat-out rejection from Rickie.

“I’ll take a major.”


Jason Day

Source: Getty Images

The closest thing we have to a ringing endorsement thus far comes from Jason Day.

“Being honest, it can be a bit of a hassle to go down there and take the time out of the schedule – it kind of messes with the PGA Tour schedule. But to have an opportunity to represent my country, go down to Rio and try to win a gold medal, it’s a big priority because at the end of my career, I’d love to have a gold medal, or silver or bronze. It would just be great to be an Olympian in the first place.”

Guys, he’s so excited that he’s even willing to settle for silver or bronze. Some things are worth being in second place for, even for one of golf’s best and most competitive players.


Adam Scott

Source: Greg Porteous

But Day’s fellow Aussie player Scott can take it or leave it, really. Meh.

“I said it’s not my priority at all, and that means I’ll make a decision at the very last moment whether it fits or not. It’s not the main focus of the year. It’s not what I built my schedule around. If it fits in good at the time, I’ll play. And if it doesn’t, then I won’t.”

Just like the Olympics kept golf waiting on it, this golfer’s going to keep the Olympics waiting on him. Damn straight.


Martin Kaymer

Source: Getty Images

Martin Kaymer sees a golden (yup, pun intended) opportunity and is ready to go all in, guns blazing.

“I’ll take the major next year, the gold medal this year. In my career I’ve only maybe twice, hopefully three times, a chance to win a gold medal. The majors, I will have a lot more. I have time to win one of those again. So this year I would definitely take the gold medal.”


Henrik Stenson

Source: Francois Nel/Getty Images

Stenson still votes for majors, but only by two percent. It seems he could be… persuaded to feel otherwise.

“I’m very excited about it. I haven’t been to an Olympics game, so to make it my first one as a participant, I’m thinking it’s going to be a lot of great experiences. And then if I can play well and do myself and my country proud, that would be awesome too. But I guess if I had to choose, I might take a major championship by a couple of percent. But if I win the gold medal, I might tell you differently.”


Fabian Gomez

Source: wscotv.com

As for Fabian Gomez of the seven birdies-in-a-row, the Olympics are why he’s even here in the first place.

“I’m really excited about being able to get into the Olympics. My main goal, I work hard to be able to win, but I know that by winning I will be able to reach that.”


There is no unanimous response to golf’s reemergence in the Olympics, but the mixed reactions alone are a sign that this drastic new change is bringing to light some intriguingly different mindsets. We see how to its exclusion has caused golf to develop very independently of other sports. So much so that when external validation from the likes of the Olympics comes in, many of its best players are left totally cold. But from the more enthusiastic responses, we can also glean that there are those who aren’t indifferent to the significance of this olive branch and would very much like to see golf achieve recognition from a more mainstream sphere. And from where we’re standing, this latter group is about to experience some major wish fulfillment soon.