Tokyo won’t see Rio-style golf pull-outs, says Park


Park Inbee of South Korea attends a press conference ahead of the HSBC Women's Champions ...
Park Inbee of South Korea attends a press conference ahead of the HSBC Women's Champions golf tournament at the Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore on February 28, 2017. PHOTO/ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP

 

Olympic golf champion Park In-Bee on Tuesday said she didn’t expect Tokyo 2020 to be hit by serial withdrawals, after a number of top men’s players skipped the Rio Games last year.

Park, who won women’s gold as golf returned to the Games after a 112-year absence, said Tokyo should see a better turn-out after a successful competition in Rio.

While nine of the top 10 female golfers turned up, the men’s competition had only four of the top 10, with Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy among the stars to stay away. Some players cited fears over the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

“I think everybody was just kind of new to the Olympics, and especially as a golfer… they kind of didn’t know what it would be like,” Park told reporters ahead of the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore.

“The next Olympics, I am pretty sure there is going to be so many more golfers (wanting) to compete,” the 17-time LPGA winner said.

“Obviously being a Major champion goes for one year, until that next championship opens the next year. But obviously Olympic (champion) goes for four years, until they have another Olympic champion.

The Tokyo 2020 golf competition has already become embroiled in controversy because the course chosen to host it doesn’t allow women as full members.

Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama has postponed a review of its membership policy, despite coming under severe pressure over the issue.

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