Golf returned from a 112-year Olympic absence Thursday, with some names missing but plenty of star power on show in Rio.
Germany’s Martin Kaymer thinks any golfer not in Rio is missing out, and he’s been inspired by what he’s seen and heard in the Olympic village this month.
Kaymer, 31, tees off at 9:14 a.m. EDT with American golfer Bubba Watson and India’s Anirban Lahiri. And mingling with other athletes in the village has taught him a bit about what golf is missing in comparison to so many of the sports at the Games.
“Compared to them, we are so weak in terms of our attitude sometimes,” Kaymer said Wednesday. “They do that sport with so much passion. They put all their heart in there. Some players, even from other sports, they don’t come here. And you think, ‘How can you not want to come here?’ To meet those people … that is why we all started our sport. When we were 12 or 15 years old, we went on the range. We didn’t do it for money. We went because it was our love, what we wanted to do.”
“When you play a sport where you make a lot of money, there’s a good chance you lose a little bit of that passion.”