Bach: Absence of top male golfers to be evaluated after Rio

While 20 male golfers have pulled out of the Olympics, Justin Rose of England is planning to soak up as much of the atmosphere as possible in Rio de Janeiro.

While the men's event has been hit by a host of pull-outs, New Zealand's Lydia Ko will lead an nearly full-strength lineup as golf makes it's return to the Olympics for the first time since 1904.

The embrace has turned into a suffocating bear hug, one that could yet suck the life out of what had seemed a noble aspiration for those championing golf's return to the Olympics.

Some people crushed him for saying these things, but I won't. I've received a lot from the game of golf. Playing in the Olympics will grow the game globally, the critics say. This new discovery adds yet another complication for the Olympic Games that are set to be held in the city this summer.

The 27-year-old found the irony with it, mentioning it at the dinner last night.

McIlroy could be watching the Olympic tournament from tee to green if he wanted, but he, along with a number of top professionals, has elected to skip Rio, which offers neither prize money nor world ranking points. Because Tiger Woods never played in the Olympics.

While I do not totally endorse Mark Twain's philosophy that golf is a good walk spoiled, it is not particularly high on my list of favourite sports, largely because I am no damn good at it. I feel like that would make it very real and that would help inspire me in terms of the occasion and give me a scale of what the Olympics is all about. But I mean, it's definitely a little bit different coming out and not trying to win that first major.

With all the animosity and controversy that's been caused by golf's return to the Olympic Games for the first time since 1904, Rose's approach to the biggest sporting showpiece on earth is a breath of fresh air to what should be an exciting time for golf.

"I want to take it all in", he explains.

"I don't think you can compare the two".

"Weighing risks and health concerns, I made it this route", the American said of his decision not to travel to Rio, but he expanded: "I recognise what Olympic golf would bring, and that's why I'm setting it as a very, very major goal to make the team in 2020". Amusing thing, though, nearly all of the others are slathering up with repellent and going. Golf in the Olympics is insane.

It isn't easy being the most corrupt global sports organization - not with competition from the likes of Federation Internationale de Football Association, the governing body of soccer; the IAAF, the governing body of track and field; and the worldwide Skating Union - but the IOC wins the prize every time.

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