David Polkinghorne July 12, 2012
Canberra professional golfer, Brendan Jones flies to the UK on Saturday for the British Open, which starts next Thursday. Photo: Graham Tidy
Brendan Jones will boycott Rio de Janeiro because he thinks golf has no place at the Olympic Games.
And his own sport wasn’t the only one in the firing line – tennis and any other sport where the Olympics wasn’t the main prize should also get the boot.
Jones said an Olympic gold medal was a distant fifth behind winning one of the four major golf tournaments – the British Open, US Masters, US Open and US PGA.
He felt it should be the sole domain of sports like athletics where their main focus was the four-yearly cycle of the Games.
‘‘I don’t agree that golf should be in the Olympics,’’ Jones told The Canberra Times today.
‘‘It’s like the tennis, who even knows who won the gold medal in the tennis?
‘‘These guys are playing every week for millions of dollars and an Olympic gold medal in their house isn’t going to take pride of place.
‘‘In golf you’ve got the four majors, in tennis you’ve got the majors, I just don’t see golf being an Olympic sport.’’
Golf will make its first appearance at the Olympics for the first time in more than 100 years at the Rio Games in 2016.
It was part of the 1900 Paris and 1904 St Louis games but hasn’t featured since.
Jones had planned to retire from golf at 40, but having a young family has forced him to change his plans.
He now wants to play for another five years, which would bring him into contention for Rio.
But the 37-year-old won’t look for selection in the Aussie team for 2016.
‘‘I think I’m going to have to play for a little bit longer, but if I can get another good five years out of the game the way the last five years have been then I’ll be very, very happy with that,’’ he said.
‘‘There’s no way in the world I’ll be playing seniors golf I can tell you that right now.’’
Jones has admitted to losing his love for the game as it became his career.
There’s no longer that passion that burned when he first turned professional.
That doesn’t mean he’s not trying when he picks up his clubs – his competitive juices start to flow when he steps onto the first tee.
But it does mean he struggles for motivation on his bad days – especially since he could be at home with his wife and kids instead of battling the mental demons that every golfer knows too well.
‘‘I can switch on. The thing that I’ve found in recent times, especially in Japan, is when I’m not in contention for a title I struggle to stay motivated in tournaments,’’ Jones said.
‘‘It’s not the attitude that I should be having, but because I’ve been doing it for such a long time and I’ve got high expectations when I am on the golf course ... but these majors – the US Opens, the Britsh Opens – tournaments like that the adrenaline starts pumping again and I do really enjoy playing those events.’’
Jones leaves for England on Saturday for the four-day British Open at the Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Course, which starts next Thursday.