'It's not my job to grow the game of golf' - Rory McIlroy
Published 13/07/2016 | 02:30
Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth have refused to take responsibility for the growth of golf after their withdrawal from the Olympic Games.
The two superstars of their sport will not be pressured into feeling guilty by those who consider their absence from Rio will damage golf.
McIlroy said: "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 win championships and win Major championships, and all of a sudden you get to this point, and there is a responsibility on you to grow the game, and I get that.
"But at the same time, that's not the reason that I got into golf.
"I got into golf to win. I didn't get into golf to get other people into the game.
"But, look, I get where different people come from and different people have different opinions, but I'm very happy with the decision that I've made, and I have no regrets about it," he said.
Spieth announced on Monday that he would reluctantly opt out of his place on the USA team.
He said it was the toughest decision he had ever made, but he joined McIlroy in defending his right to act in what he perceived as his own best interests.
"I can't speak for everybody else. Do I think it looks bad on golf? Maybe. Again, I'm making the decision of what I think is best for me.
"I don't feel like I have to carry the torch for the sport or anyone else. This is bigger than that for me personally," said Spieth.
Some Olympic champions of the past have been revealed as drugs cheats and on that subject, Rory McIlroy feels that golf needs to increase its testing protocols, despite a low risk of abuse.
"I'd say it's pretty low, the threat of doping in golf.
"I don't know of a banned substance that could help a golfer across the board, with driving, with putting, with concentration."