Teeing off at the Olympics

Written by Shona A Singh | Updated: Aug 31 2008, 07:30am hrs
Someone asked me recently, what about golf at the Olympics Well, golf is not an Olympic sport and there are various arguments against and in favour of the sport being included at the Olympics in the future.

As 2008 Masters winner, Trevor Immelman said at a press conference during the US Open, we PGA Tour players get paid a lot of money for doing something we love. The Olympics to me is about guys who train hard for four years with nothing else in mind and do it all to achieve glory for their countries. Basically what he meant was that while professional golf is all about big bucks, the Olympics is essentially about what it stands for exceptional human achievements.

However, footballers, tennis and NBA players earn as much or in case of David Beckham, probably more than golfers, so this argument can easily be lost in the face of such facts. And also the fact that sportsmen like Rafael Nadal enjoyed every moment enroute to winning his Olympic gold.

One person totally in favour of making golf an Olympic sport is former world number one, Greg Norman. He tried to get it included, especially at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Recently Tiger Woods has also added his consent. The lobbying for golf to be included as a part of the Games in 2016 has started seriously many hope that it can be included if any new sports are to be added.

But back to golf action and Vijay Singh is in good form, having won the PGA Tours The Barclays again last week. He also currently leads the FedEx Cup standings but with just one event completed so far, there is still a lot more golf to be played.

Meanwhile, Sergio Garcia, who lost the PGA Championship to Padraig Harrington as they came down the stretch on Sunday, failed to capitalise on yet another good week coming down the final stretch. This time it was The Barclays, after he got himself into a playoff with Kevin Suderland and Vijay Singh. But the Spaniard has matured and instead of brooding over the loss, he feels correctly that if he continues to put himself in a position to win, he will do so sooner rather than later.

Both the tours are preparing for the Ryder Cup which will be held at Valhalla Golf Club, Louisville, Kentucky, USA from September 19-21. The captains Nick Faldo will take on the job for Europe while Paul Azinger will do the honours for the Americans. The Johnnie Walker Championship which will be played at Gleneagles this week is the final event before the European team is decided and announced. It will be interesting to note that Colin Montgomerie who has one of the best Ryder Cup records he has never been beaten in the singles matches is not into the team. Even if he wins this week, the best he can do is move up to 15th place on the Ryder Cup standings and hope that he can become a wild card entry for Europe. The American team will be decided on second September and while the first eight members are decided the rest will be revealed soon.