Not everyone believes that golf belongs in the Olympics. But that doesn’t mean that golfers don’t belong in the Games. Here are 10 Tour stars who would have a great chance at Olympic glory, even if they took up another sport.
JOHN DALY: Hammer Throw
As any track-and-field coach worth his salt can tell you, proper hammer throw technique requires balletic footwork, a whirling windup and a well-timed release that draws upon the full power of centrifugal force. By flinging woods and irons into assorted water hazards, Long John has been training for this all his life.
RORY MCILROY: Weightlifting
Maybe Brandel Chamblee’s right. Maybe all that bulking up is bad for Rory’s golf swing. But it sure will come in handy when he decides to vie for gold in the clean and jerk.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Swimming
With the body fat percentage of an anorexic otter and a demonstrated fondness for tight-fitting sportswear, DJ already cuts a Phelps-ian poolside figure. Now all he has to do is learn the butterfly.
BOO WEEKLEY: Air Rifle Shooting
Boo has always said that he would rather be hunting. So he could keep his gun, while turning his sights to a stationary target and swapping out his camouflage for Stars and Stripes.
RICKIE FOWLER: BMX Cycling
A bucking bronco bike ride on a rollicking track? Sounds like just another off day for the extreme-sports loving Fowler, who could double down in winter by strapping on a snowboard and taking on Shawn White.
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Fencing
The wine-swirling, cigar-smoking, ponytailed Spaniard has the throwback air of a swashbuckling figure from the Romantic era, that bygone age when men were men, or at least pretended to be by spending lots of free time playing with swords.
PHIL MICKELSON: Table Tennis
Just ask any Tour pro who’s played him head-to-head: the soft-handed southpaw has all the shots, and can deliver them, with spin, to the smallest, hardest targets. He’s got a pretty decent wedge game, too.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Platform Diving
With each of her two wins at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, Lincicome has taken the traditional celebratory plunge into Poppie’s Pond. So she’s got that experience going for her. Only question: Will the judges penalize her for a feet-first leap?
RORY SABBATINI: Race Walking
Golf fans will recall the controversial incident at the 2005 Booz Allen Classic, when the fast-playing (and quick-tempered) Sabbatini marched on with his round as his playing partner, Ben Crane, fiddled in the fairway. On the course, ditching your opponent will earn you criticism. In race walking, it’ll win you gold.
TIGER WOODS: Sailing
Rather than sail into the sunset, Tiger might consider tacking toward a different sport, one that wouldn’t be as brutal on his back, knees and shoulders. He could think of it as yachting with a smaller boat.