IOC Member: Golf Shouldn’t Be in Olympics Without Best Players Competing

June 26, 2016

With the list of golfers withdrawing from this summer’s Olympics growing, one International Olympic Committee member said golf should not have a spot in the Games if it is unable to bring its top players.

Speaking to New Zealand-based radio station Newstalk ZB, IOC member Barry Maister said what is happening in golf is “appalling.” Maister, 68, won a gold medal for New Zealand in field hockey in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.

World No. 4 Rory McIlroy said last week he won’t represent Ireland in the Games, and Graeme McDowell (Ireland) and Branden Grace (South Africa) also dropped out of consideration last week. That adds to a long list that already includes Australia’s Adam Scott, South Africa’s Louis Oosthiuzen and more.

It hasn’t been a good look for the sport, which is returning to the Olympics for the first time since 1904.

“I don’t like it, and I don’t think the sport should be allowed to continue in the Games under that scenario,” Maister said. “Once they’ve got in, they have got to deliver. Just getting in with your name, and then putting up some second- or third-rate players is so far from the Olympic ideal or the expectation of the Olympic Movement. The Olympics is about the best, and they pledged the best.

“Quite frankly, any sport that cannot deliver its best athletes, in my view, should not be there.”

For the latest on who’s in and who’s out regarding the Rio Games, click here.