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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 191
T HREE years ago we watched with pride as Adam Scott screamed “C ’mon Aussie” like his lungs were about to burst all over Augusta National's 18th green. An hour later he was the first Australian to have a Masters green jacket slipped over his shoulders. There was no prouder Australian on the planet. Scott’s win brought the country together that day, much like the America's Cup did back in 1983. We walked a little taller for he had done what no other Aussie had before and we loved him for it. Didn’t all that change last week when the world No.7 announced he was unavailable for selection to represent Australia at the Rio Olympics in August. He cited his “extremely busy playing schedule” and “other commitments, both personal and professional” for his decision. Not surprisingly social media attracted plenty of faceless critics ready to cut down the latest tall poppy. Some even stooped to calling him “un-Australian”. Former Olympian Dawn Fraser joined in, accusing Scott of putting money ahead of national pride. What gibberish. How could his decision be about money? It’s not like there's another event on somewhere else in the world during the Olympics. This has absolutely nothing to do with money. All Adam Scott has ever dreamed of doing is winning majors. If he was a swimmer or a runner, it would be an entirely different story. Scott represents Australia every time he tees it up and continues to be one of this country’s finest ambassadors, not just for golf, but for all sport. His support for Australian golf is unmatched and, hopefully, this latest episode doesn’t change his loyalty to events back home. While the Olympic Games is the Mt Everest of sporting achievement for many sports, it isn’t for golf. It isn’t even the fifth major. But, for once every four years, it could have been. The International Olympic Committee made a massive blunder when they rubber-stamped the 72-hole strokeplay format for the Olympics. Olympic golf needed a point of difference from every other event played around the world each week. Matchplay, where every hole is closely fought and players take more risks from the 1st hole, would have been a far better option. In a team format, included a mixed team, it would have been better still. If the format put greater emphasis on team play the world’s best golfers, including Scott and now Louis Oosthuizen, would be clearing their schedule to be in it. And as for the congested schedule leading into the Games., the scheduling of two majors in a five-week stretch before Rio is farcical. Scott and Oosthuizen won’t be the only eligible players from the top-50 of the world ranking to withdraw before the first ball is struck in Rio. E IN DEFENCE OF OUR GREAT SCOTT CALLING ADAM SCOTT 'UN-AUSTRALIAN' FOR WITHDRAWING HIMSELF FROM THE RIO OLYMPICS IS PROOF WE HAVE VERY SHORT MEMORIES, WRITES BRENDAN JAMES.
GA Express 190
GA Express 192