Monday, August 22

A Gold for Park and Record Viewership for Women's Golf

THE RESULTS OF THE WOMEN'S Olympic Golf competition in Rio de Janeiro was yet another reminder of the dominant players (and nations) on the LPGA Tour.

Gold: Inbee Park, Korea, -16
Silver: Lydia Ko, New Zealand, -11
Bronze: Shanshan Feng, China, -10

"It definitely feels unreal," Inbee Park told Golf Channel's Steve Sands. "This is something I've really been dreaming of doing this week. To represent your country in the Olympic Games and to be able to win a gold medal is such a special feeling. There were so many Korean people out here supporting me and I almost felt like we were in Korea. That's how much support I've had this week… I've gone through some tough times, but this is definitely a big relief."

Silver medalist Ko said: "Today not many putts were falling. But for a crucial putt like that on the 18th [hole] to fall, I think I celebrated like the gold medalist… This means so much more to me. Since 2009 I've just dreamt and imagined myself to be here in Rio alongside the world's best athletes. Having this silver medal is just a dream come true. The Olympics isn't about [whether] somebody lost to another player. It celebrates each and every athlete and we've all won."

American Stacy Lewis, finishing T-4 (-9), fell short in her bid for a bronze medal after rallying with a 63 in the third round.

"To bounce back the way I did [Friday]," Lewis said, "and to have a chance to hopefully get a medal today was all I could have asked for… You're not so much looking at who's in first and second [place]. You're kind of looking at that third place [bronze] number a little bit more. I'm always trying to move up the leaderboard on Sunday no matter what position I'm in."

In addition, Golf Channel reported, "Golf's return to the Olympics posts record viewership for women's golf."

As I mentioned last week, especially with such low expectations, golf's return to the Olympics was successful. The sport will get another chance at the Tokyo Games in 2020.

Geoff Shackelford (GeoffShackelford.com) offered "six ways to make Olympic golf better." A team format and suspending tour play during the Olympics are two of my favorites, although convincing the all-powerful PGA Tour to allow a gap in its schedule might be wishful thinking.

2 comments :

Brian Kuehn said...

The problem with a "team" format is it eliminates most countries. Could China field a team of 5 competitive golfers? Scotland? France? Germany? New Zealand? So we might have a competition between the USA, Korea, Japan and possibly Australia.

The Armchair Golfer said...

Great point. I hadn't thought about that. I wonder if there could be a work around? Maybe both an individual and team competition, in golf?