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With plenty of questions surrounding the Olympics, and all of the safety restrictions that are certain to be in place, Jon Rahm gets why golfers wouldn’t want to deal with the Tokyo Games this summer.
Dustin Johnson, the top-ranked golfer in the world, and Adam Scott have already said that they won’t be making the trip. Rahm, speaking Wednesday ahead of the AT&T Byron Nelson outside of Dallas, doesn’t blame them one bit.
“The Olympic committee is not making it very easy for us to choose it,” Rahm said, via Golf Digest.
The organizing committee has already announced that no international spectators will be allowed at the Olympics this summer, which were already rescheduled from last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While specific protocols for athletes haven’t all been announced yet, Rahm said Wednesday that what he’s been told for golfers isn’t appealing. Athletes, he said, won’t be allowed to attend other events, and golfers won’t be able to actually see the course until the day before competition begins.
That course, he said, is also a one to two hour drive from the athlete village.
“That’s a lot of time to be in the car going to and coming back from the Olympic Village, and then you can only go to the [course] on Wednesday,” he said, via USA Today. “Your family is not allowed. You’re not allowed to go to any other events. There are just so many restrictions.”
Rahm, the No. 3 ranked golfer in the world, said he still wants to win a gold medal in his career and that he wants to play in Tokyo.
The top-15 players in the Olympic Golf Rankings will automatically qualify, up to four people per country, and then the 60 person field will be filled moving down that list. Qualifying for that ends the day after the U.S. Open on June 21.
“I’ve been able to win championships representing Spain as an amateur in almost every manage level, and to bring back the gold medal would be something amazing,” he said, via Golf Digest.
What about the PGA Tour?
Another big reason Rahm thinks players aren’t as interested in the Olympics is because of when it falls in the PGA Tour calendar.
The 26-year-old knows how tight making a trip to Tokyo in July and August is with the British Open taking place right before and then a World Golf Championships event and the FedExCup Playoffs right after.
“I can understand why a lot of people are prioritizing the FedEx Cup events and great golf events,” Rahm said, via USA Today. “The Olympics are relatively new for the golf, and I don’t blame them.”
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