Lazarus Tees Off on No-Show Golfers

Golf returns to Olympics after 112-year absence
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0

Related: NBC Banking on the Games To Unite a Frayed Nation

Golf is returningto the Olympics after a 112-year absence, but several of the sport’s most recognizable stars have bowed out, citing the Zika virus threat. Mark Lazarus, NBC Sports Group chairman, does not mask his consternation. “It’s surprising and disappointing that so many male golfers, uniquely male golfers, have decided not to participate,” he said at NBC’s July 11 Olympics press event. “And that’s a distinction that male golfers have vis-à-vis any other [group] of athletes participating in the Games.”

Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson are among those bowing out for Zika-related reasons, but the virus isn’t the only culprit. Australian Adam Scott cited the quantity of major golf events on the calendar as his reason for avoiding Rio, while South African Louis Oosthuizen noted family commitments.

Comcast’s Golf Channel will carry the action from the links. Golf commentator David Feherty, for one, took the players’ Olympics snub in stride. “I think 50 or 75 or 100 years from now, people won’t remember who didn’t play in the 2016 Olympics,” he said. “They’ll just remember that someone was a gold medalist.”

Related: NBC Banking on the Games To Unite a Frayed Nation

Golf is returningto the Olympics after a 112-year absence, but several of the sport’s most recognizable stars have bowed out, citing the Zika virus threat. Mark Lazarus, NBC Sports Group chairman, does not mask his consternation. “It’s surprising and disappointing that so many male golfers, uniquely male golfers, have decided not to participate,” he said at NBC’s July 11 Olympics press event. “And that’s a distinction that male golfers have vis-à-vis any other [group] of athletes participating in the Games.”

Member Exclusive

Get Access to Our Exclusive Content

Related