Rose and Fowler hope to get Rory to tune in
Published 14/07/2016 | 02:30
Justin Rose is not offended by Rory McIlroy's assertion that he would not watch the Olympic golf competition, but he does believe that elite golfers should contribute to the growth of the game.
On Tuesday, McIlroy said he did not believe it was his job to attract people to play the game, and that when it comes to Olympic TV viewing, his preference would be: "Probably the events like track and field, swimming, diving - the stuff that matters.''
Rose begs to differ.
"Do I feel like it's nice to give back? Yes. I've received a lot from the game of golf," he said at a press conference to formally announce he would play for Great Britain in Rio.
"I've received a lot of help from many different organisations within the game, and it doesn't take much to give back in certain ways, and I always try to do my fair share.
"I think there are times in your career where you know you need to be single-minded, and maybe there are times of your career where it's time to give back," he said.
Rose hopes McIlroy may not have meant the "stuff that matters" comment.
The 35-year-old said: "Hopefully it's a slip of the tongue - one of those moments. I'm not personally taking too much on board by that comment."
On that subject, Rickie Fowler said: "Maybe I'll cause enough of a stir that Rory'll turn it back over to golf at some point. I'm excited. It'll be pretty special to be an Olympic athlete and get to walk in the opening ceremony, and be part of the whole thing.
"I can definitely understand why players have pulled out. It wasn't an easy decision for me. That being said, I felt it was going to be a great experience and possibly once in a lifetime."