The big difference between Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth? Honesty!

Rory McIlroy was typically honest during his press conference today. Asked about his withdrawal from the Olympics:

“I’m very happy with the decision I made. I have no regrets. I’ll probably watch the Olympics. But I’m not sure golf will be one of the events I watch,” he said.  I don’t feel like I’ve let the game down at all. I didn’t get into golf to try and grow the game. I got into golf to win major championships. I get that I have a responsibility to the game. But at the same time I got into golf to win. I didn’t get into golf to get other people into the game,” he added.

McIlroy went on to say that he didn’t become a golfer “to grow the game” – one of the reasons often cited by supporters of Olympic golf. Spieth disagrees with that assessment, claiming that his withdrawal from the Games was “probably the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life.” “… I’m making the decision of what I think is best for me,” “I don’t feel like I have to carry the torch — see what I did there? — for the sport or anyone else. This is bigger than that for me personally,” he added.

Everyone knows that the Olympics should be the pinnacle of a sport – and it will never be that for golf. Jordan Spieth is rightfully concerned about the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup, it’s for that reason he’s withdrawing. Why do you think women golfers aren’t withdrawing? Female players will be keen to benefit from the profile a golf medal could potentially bring.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, for golfers the Zika virus isn’t a reason, it’s an excuse. 

The facts about Zika

It’s not mosquito season: When the World Cup was held in Rio in July 2014, dengue, another mosquito-borne virus that is transmitted by the same mosquito that transmits Zika, was expected to be a problem.  the million foreign tourists who went to Brazil for the tournament, only three contracted dengue — all of them in Belo Horizonte, a city that’s about 300 miles north of Rio.

“Scientists have also done modeling predictions of the likely number of Zika virus cases based on that experience with dengue,” explained John McConnell, editor of the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases. “The worst-case scenario is that there will be 3.2 Zika infections per 100,000 tourists. The much more likely scenario: Zika will affect 1.8 people per million tourists.”


Some players seem to have taken this on board. Justin Rose called the Zika virus a “non-event” and Danny Willett said he will “take that little bit of risk” “If there’s an Olympic Games down in Johannesburg, would guys pull out because of malaria? I don’t really know, you know?”.

For Jordan to say that “this was a hard decision” just isn’t true. As with every other golfer who has withdrawn, they don’t want to play because it isn’t important. Don’t bullshit us, come out and criticise the organisers who let everyone down by insisting the event be for professionals. It should have always been for amateurs – and the pinnacle of their careers.

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