Rory McIlroy Says Olympic Golf Needs Time to Grow

December 21, 2015

One of golf’s biggest stars thinks Olympic golf has a long way to go before it becomes one of golf’s biggest events.

Rory McIlroy told the Irish Independent last week that golf’s appearance at the games after a 112-year absence wouldn’t immediately garner the kind of buzz that more established events enjoy.

“Golf will need to be back in the Olympics for a while…before it becomes a bigger event for us, as has been the case with tennis,” said McIlroy, who will represent Ireland at the Rio Games in 2016.

Tennis returned to the Olympic program after a 64-year hiatus in 1988.

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Olympic golf has elicited a mixed reaction among the world’s top players. Former World No. 1 Adam Scott said that he might choose not to compete in the 2016 Games, while current World No. 1 Jordan Spieth said that he’ll be treating the event as “the fifth major.”

Consider McIlroy somewhere in the middle.

“Though I’d love to win Olympic gold, it’s not as if we’re going to get the full buzz of the event like the athletes will over a span of three weeks after preparing for four years,” McIlroy said. “We golfers will be in and out in a week.”