British Open winner Zach Johnson unsure golf belongs at Olympics after withdrawals
After an absence of 112 years, golf will be back next month in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. British Open champion Zach Johnson has, however, expressed concern on the place of golf in the games.
Zach, who won his second major championship 12 months ago at St Andrews, thinks that minor sports should be given priority in the Olympics.
He added that he was not sure whether golf needed to be at the Olympics because it is always relevant and the fans look forward to the majors like the Ryder Cup and these events are his motivation as a player.
Zach stated that he would be happy to be included in the Ryder Cup team as an American golfer rather than being in the Olympics.
Several players including world number one Jason Day, number two Dustin Johnson, third-ranked Jordan Spieth and world number four Rory McIlroy will not be going to the Olympics due to the fear of the Zika virus.
Johnson was, however, hesitant to point out how the lack of participation by the golf stars will affect the return of golf to the Olympic Games.
The 2007 Master Champion expressed doubt whether golf will fit in the Olympics and whether there was any tradition that will be set by the inclusion of golf in the games. He questioned if there was any motivation for golfers going to the Olympics and added that only time would tell.
Zach said that the Olympics Games is a big event for other sports, and it should give prominence to those sports like wrestling that do not get enough recognition.
The champion said that athletes train for three years for a single opportunity and a one-week event like the Olympics.
Zach, who is an avid follower of the Olympic Games on television, will be playing alongside Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson in the first round of the Open on Thursday. He said he loves watching the Olympic Games especially minority sports.