Tuesday 17 January 2017

Padraig Harrington has a pop at Jordan Spieth over decision not to play in Rio Olympics

Published 15/09/2016 | 18:32

Padraig Harrington with his son Patrick during the Rio Olympics
Padraig Harrington with his son Patrick during the Rio Olympics

Padraig Harrington has reignited the hostile debate about golfers pulling out of the Rio Olympics, reaffirming his belief that the world's top players were "like sheep following each other".

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Harrington represented Ireland with pride alongside Waterfordman Seamus Power in Rio and has been vocal in his criticism for those who decided not to travel to Brazil.

“I don’t think it (golfers pulling out) has affected it (the future of golf in the Olympics) but at the time it was putting us on a very bad footing... it did seem, as I said at the time, they were a bit like sheep following each other.

"There’s golfers who have just got married, and there’s golfers who have children on the way and things like that. Compared to a lot of other athletes golfers are older and married and things like that so in that sense they have other people making decisions for them.

"When it comes to somebody like Jordan Spieth, at 22 years of age, there just couldn’t be a reason in the world why he would want to pull out.”

On the future of golf in the Olympics, Harrington said: “We’re in Tokyo already. The decision on whether it makes 2024 is more or less based on TV ratings and it was a big success that way.”

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