Over the past week, lots of digital ink has been spilled by envious golf writers talking about their game's return to the Olympics in 2016. Much of the chatter has revolved around the event's general haziness. How will the field be set? Will it really just be 72 holes of stroke play? Can't we change the format to something, I don't know, different?
Well, apparently we can put that fun little format debate right to bed. In an interview with The Golf Channel's Rex Hoggard, Ty Votaw, the executive director of the International Golf Foundation’s Olympic Golf Committee, explained that making any change to the tournament would be much harder than we all thought:
“It’s unlikely it’s going to change because (72-hole stroke play) was the way it was presented to the IOC,” Votaw said. “Most Olympic sports are individual sports, not a team competition. But we are open to a different format post-2016.”
So cast your eye towards 2020 Games in…wherever. Great. Eight years to develop bright ideas. We can't wait for that dream pairing of a 44-year-old Tiger and a 50-year-old Phil to don the red, white and blue.
Shame, too, because some strong suggestions have come up since the London Games started. Like this one, from Stewart Cink, reported by Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal:
“A 72-hole stroke play tournament doesn’t lend itself that well to the medal race. As we all know who are involved with golf, fourth place, sixth place, eighth place are really good showings. I almost think a long drive contest lends itself better to a medal, where you can have preliminaries and heats and guys are going for the gold like a sprint. In golf when you have 72 holes, it’s hard to be excited about it.”
We like where your head's at with this, Stewart. Let's brainstorm on it…for the next eight years.