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Rory McIlroy
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Rory McIlroy: I was wrong about Olympic golf

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Rory McIlroy said he was “pleasantly surprised” to “be proven wrong somewhat” about golf’s place in the Olympics after his criticisms before withdrawing ahead of the Games.

“It was nice to be proven wrong somewhat in terms of, like I thought golf was sort of going to get lost a little bit,” McIlroy said Wednesday ahead of The Barclays. “It was away from the village; I thought it was going to, yeah, just sort of blend in with everything else and be, not forgotten about, but just one of a lot of sports that are there obviously. But to see the crowds and see the turnout, I was glad to be somewhat proven wrong.”

Australian Adam Scott, perhaps the most outspoken critic of golf’s Olympic format out of the sport’s stars, maintained his view Wednesday. Scott also skipped the Olympics.

“I still believe that in the long term, I think it would be very easy to make it a very big deal for golf and the growth with amateurs playing the Olympics,” Scott said. “I think it’s very hard for the professionals to fit in the Olympic system at the moment, unless a lot of events are willing to sacrifice a lot.”

Jordan Spieth said he “wished” he was at the Olympics. Spieth pulled out of the Olympics in July due to health concerns, including the Zika virus.

“At the time I made the decision, it was the right decision for me,” Spieth said Wednesday. “And I told you guys in that press conference, it was the hardest thing I’ve had to do. The potential for regret was going to be there, and it certainly was while I was watching, so that’s why I tweeted out, ‘I’m looking forward to setting it as a goal to be there in 2020.'”

Australian Jason Day, ranked No. 1 in the world, said he watched one hole of the Olympics and didn’t regret skipping the Rio Games due to Zika concerns. Day said he’s looking forward to hopefully qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Games.

“I didn’t really watch much of the Olympics at all to be honest,” Day said Wednesday. “I think I watched Usain Bolt win, and I watched one swimming, which was a four-by relay or whatever it was. I can’t remember what it was. That’s how much I know about the Olympics.”

MORE: McIlroy: I gave ‘PC answer’ on Olympic golf for 7 years

Australia Olympic legend blasts Adam Scott for skipping Rio Games

Adam Scott
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Australian Olympic swimming legend Dawn Fraser criticized golfer Adam Scott‘s decision to skip the Rio Games in a Facebook post Wednesday.

“Well done Adam great to put your country on hold so that you can fulfill your own schedule,” was posted on Fraser’s page, “how much money do you want in life not showing much for your country.

“I guess working 3 jobs a week to secure my place as a Olympic swimmer has giver [sic] me the strength to say what I feel about sporstmen [sic] and women that do this.”

Earlier, the Australian Scott announced he would skip golf’s return to the Olympics due to his “extremely busy playing schedule around the time of the Olympics and other commitments, both personal and professional.”

Scott has been an outspoken critic of professional golfers in the Olympics for many months.

Fraser, an eight-time medalist and four-time gold medalist from 1956-64, has criticized Australian stars in multiple sports.

In July, she apologized for comments about tennis players Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic.

In 2013, she said she was disrespected by 2008 Olympic swim champion Stephanie Rice.

MORE: Magnussen falls short at Australia Olympic Trials

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Adam Scott to skip Rio after criticizing Olympic golf

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Australian Adam Scott, the seventh-ranked golfer in the world, will not play at the first Olympic golf tournament in 112 years in Rio.

“My decision has been taken as a result of an extremely busy playing schedule around the time of the Olympics and other commitments, both personal and professional,” Scott said in a statement.

Scott has criticized Olympic golf in recent years, after it was re-added to the Olympic program in 2009 to launch in 2016.

The 2013 Masters champion said in May that golf “doesn’t need to be in the Olympics,” calling it “an exhibition.”

“People watch us [as pros] play 45 weeks a year,” Scott reportedly said in 2014. “If you really wanted to grow the game you’d have the Olympics for amateurs.”

Scott is the second Masters champion to announce he will skip the Rio Olympics, following Fiji’s Vijay Singh last week.

With Scott out, the Australian men’s team in Rio could include world No. 1 Jason Day and No. 34 Marc Leishman.

The full Olympic golf fields will be determined by the world rankings on July 11, with no more than two players per gender per country if either player is ranked outside the top 15.

MORE: USA Golf unveils Olympic uniforms

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