Why Jordan Spieth will regret his decision to bail on the Olympics

I have sympathy for golfers who have withdrawn from the Olympics and I agree with Rory McIlroy. Unless the games represents the pinnacle for a sport, i.e. tabble tennis, squash, archery, etc., it should not be at the Olympics. I thought Rory’s comments were brave, but needlessly provocative. He showed courage by telling us what he thought, and we responded with hypocrisy. We bemoan mundane interviews and then perform an autopsy on the truthful ones. We can’t expect a genuine response if we lose our shit over the odd remark.

This is not a career-defining moment for Jordan, but I do think he will live to regret his decision if an American wins. This has to go down as a missed opportunity. Many of you will argue that he is focused on the FedEx cup, but since when has international tournament affected his performance? Some of you will say he’ll look at his bank account, but what about the pride of representing America?

It is well documented that professional golfers have been using the Zika virus as an excuse rather than a reason. Some, like Rory and Australian Adam Scott, had the balls to vociferously critique the Olympics, whereas Jordan hid behind a veil of “danger” that doesn’t exist.

Five reasons to regret withdrawing:

1. National pride


I think there’s a danger of underestimating the sense of national pride that’s at stake during the Olympics. “Getting there, seeing all the other athletes, seeing all the venues and just soaking up all that excitement (and here’s the kicker) of being an OLYMPIAN,” said Patrick Reed, in an interview during The Travelers.

You just have to look at the social traction some of the attendees are getting. People seem to be loving the social war screams of Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Pat Reed.


2. A chance for redemption

Jordan Spieth has had a poor season by his very high standards. He showed signs of form during the PGA Championship, which makes you wonder if an Olympic appearance could put a bow on a Major-less season.

Remember Andy Murray’s gold medal at the Olympics? It propelled his career after another disappointing loss to Roger Federer at Wimbledon. I pick this example because of the obvious commonality – 4 majors and questionable Olympic credentials.
Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 15.28.47
I would fancy Jordan to succeed at this Olympic venue. His meticulous nature and course management would give him an advantage on a course that nobody has seen. He could be a “successful Olympian.”

Yellow and blue ?? @olympicgolf2016 @olympics @rio2016 @sweolympic

A photo posted by Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) on


3. The Ryder Cup

The Olympics offer America a virtual dress rehearsal for the Ryder Cup. Just because no team work is required for the final result, there are still benefits to be had for Kuch, Reed, Bubba and Rickie. Team USA need a morale boost and I think a successful Olympics will provide this.

Here we go! #RioBound #TeamGB ??

A photo posted by Justin Rose (@justinprose99) on

America should learn about the joy of international sports. Soccer is slowly persuading the US that this is a fun way to be a sports fan. The NFL, NBA, NHL and MBL are great, but rarely do we see America with the chance to compete on the international stage. Giving the golf fan an international context to fuel their excitement would help the players understand why Europe keep winning the Ryder Cup with statistically weaker teams.

All seems really real now! 350 athletes strong! #LetsGoTeamGB @teamgb @olympics ??????

A photo posted by Justin Rose (@justinprose99) on


4. Fear of missing out


You can bet your bottom dollar that Rickie and Bubba will be all over social. And the golfing public will love it. Those boys will play around, record everything and make Jordan feel jealous about missing out. It will be like the Brohamas with the SB2K16 crew except Jordan will be forced to watch from the sidelines. I think he will regret his decision when the Zika concerns are found to be exaggerated.

We all know how much Spieth loves mixing with the likes of Steph Curry. The Olympics would be a who’s who of athleticism on steroids – perhaps literally – giving him a good image in the world of sport.

5. Last chance?

Will there be another chance for Jordan to play in an Olympics? Golfers aren’t the only people critical of their inclusion, plenty of sportspeople have spoken up about the attitude of professional golfers. Does this mean that golf’s invitation won’t be extended? What if the Olympic committee decided it was a failed concept? Jordan mentioned future chances but there mightn’t be any if next week’s golf goes badly.

Start the discussion

to comment