The PGA Tour paid Justin Thomas, Matt Kuchar, Colt Knost and Ken Duke $504,000 for their T-3rd finish at the Players Championship.
Had they tied in Rio, they would head back out to the golf course for a sudden-death playoff for a Bronze Medal and no money. Kevin Chappell would have ducked his head for Silver, and of course World No. 1 Jason Day would have heard Advance Australia Fair with Olympic Gold around his neck.
Nick Faldo suggested that the Olympic Gold Medal “could evolve into being one of our greatest trophies or prizes in World Golf.”
The emotions oozing from the paspalum grass on the finishing holes will fill high-definition screens across the globe for years to come as playoffs for medals loom in the minds of contenders.
Golf in the Olympics! Two-time major champion Martin Kaymer was quoted as saying that “This is the greatest week of his life.”
The golf tournament will certainly bring chills to fans and competitors who have a chance to win a medal, but the Opening Ceremony and other events will grab the attention of those who are lucky enough to travel to the games.
During Saturday’s broadcast golf course architect Gil Hanse might have summed it up best: “I don’t think anybody could really appreciate how much The Olympics mean to us. I didn’t anticipate what a great feeling it would be.”
I can’t imagine what it would be like watching live as Katie Ledecky swamped the field and smashed her own World Record in the 800m. I had goosebumps watching her on TV.
I have to admit that I was a skeptic about teeing off golf with Swimming, Table Tennis, Fencing and Track and Field. Now, I want to save up for a ticket to Tokyo 2020.
Sports seem to unify the world. After a 112-year absence, golf has become an integral part of that. From Rickie Fowler’s 29 on Saturday to course records in 2020, world-class athletes who just happen to play golf will strive for Gold and world records.