Far from all the stars defying when Xander Schauffele won the men’s Olympic golf tournament this weekend.
Among those who chose to say “no” for various reasons were profiles such as world number two Dustin Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen, Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia and Patrick Cantlay.
On the ladies side, the starting field seems to be facing any discipline.
– In fact, perhaps only two girls from Great Britain would have chosen to refuse. On the woman’s side, this is the best arena there can be. That’s the most interesting thing, says Anna Nordqvist of Sweden.
“realize its size”
The 34-year-old was also at Rio 2016, when the sport returned to the Olympic programme. That was 11th and gave her a bleeding tooth, a situation she believes is more prevalent among women than among men.
Many women probably realize how special it is to play the Olympic Games. I know a lot of guys would be prioritizing the other big competitions in the US, through the playoffs etc. In women’s golf, I think you have more respect for the Olympics themselves. Nordqvist says you realize how big and what an honor it is.
She says the larger prize money in men’s golf can play a certain role. At the same time, she thinks, it’s sad that male golfers don’t know how to appreciate such a tournament that the Olympics make possible.
It’s sad now that golf worked so hard for so many years to get into the Olympics, and so we came here, and above all, so many great men chose not to go. Of course, it’s too boring for the Olympics.
– On the woman’s side, everyone is still here and appreciates this opportunity. It’s great to be able to represent their country.
Trinidad and Tobago: Do women love this sport more?
– I don’t know if the guys messed up a bit with the other possibilities. But I love the sport I was born with the Olympics, and I know its size relative to all the other Swedish athletes. For me, it is an incredible honor to come here and do my second Olympics.
Neither Nordqvist nor Sagstrom were close to winning the last competition before the Olympics, the Major Evian Championship. But both are hoping to compete for medals at the Kasumigaseki Golf Club this week.
– Obviously you want to participate and fight for medals, but it’s an incredibly strong starting arena with strong competitors. So, it’s important to play hard to give yourself a chance, Nordqvist says.
– I have expectations of getting a medal. “I think my game is very good at the moment,” says Sajstrom.
Facts: Olympic Women’s Golf Championship
Date: 4-7 August.
Venue: Kasumigaseki Golf Club.
Current Champion: Park NB, South Korea.
Swedish players: Anna Nordqvist (world ranking 54), Madeleine Sagström (75).
Here’s how: 60 players play all four rounds. So there is no disqualification after two days as in the normal Tour competition. Medals cannot be shared. If several players in the top three get the same score after 72 holes, then special games are waiting for you.
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