Golf will be played at the Olympics next month for the first time in 112 years. It is a chance for the sport to shine on one of the biggest stages in sports, yet the golf community has largely responded with a collective yawn. Many of the sport’s top players have elected to not participate in the games. Some golfers, like Jordan Spieth, have cited very real health concerns, while others simply fail to see the benefit of participating.
Count Rory McIlroy amongst the latter. Not only is the Northern Irishman not interested in participating in the Olympics, he may have provided the hottest take from the anti-Olympic crowd at his British Open press conference on Tuesday.
McIlroy admits he is fan of the Olympics and will be watching some events, but made not qualms about his feelings on the importance of Olympic golf. He plainly stated he has no plans to watch any golf events, and his answer to the question of what events he will watch was even more telling.
“Track and field, swimming, diving … the stuff that matters.”
Rory on the Olympics. Straight 🔥🔥🔥. pic.twitter.com/CBSijrAbkm
— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) July 12, 2016
McIlroy withdrew from the Olympics back in June citing Zika concerns, but it is clear that this was a pretty easy decision for the golfer. He even admitted as much. He does not play the sport to “grow the game.” His only goal is to win Majors.
“I don’t think it was as difficult a decision for me as it was for [Jordan Spieth],” said McIlroy on Tuesday. “I don’t feel like I’ve let the game down at all. I didn’t get into golf to try and grow the game. I got into golf to try to win championships and win major championships.
“All of a sudden you get to this point and there’s a responsibility on you to grow the game. I get that, but at the same time that’s not the reason I got into golf. I didn’t get into golf to get other people into the game. I’m very happy with the decision I made, and I have no regrets about it.”
You might not like what he has to say, but you cannot fault McIlroy for his honesty. He might not be concerned with building an audience, but his statements are sure to do just that. Sports are more fun with a villain, and McIlroy seems happy to wear the black cape.