With the Olympics unfolding in London, the countdown to golf's return to the Games in 2016 has begun. So, too, has renewed criticism of the format for the Olympic golf tournament.
In particular, Stewart Cink does not think the 72-hole, stroke-play tournament will inspire in the way the International Golf Federation hopes.
“A 72-hole stroke play tournament doesn’t lend itself that well to the medal race," Cink said, according to the Akron Beacon-Journal. "As we all know who are involved with golf, fourth place, sixth place, eighth place are really good showings."
Cink suggested a skills competition of sorts might make for a better Olympic contest.
"I almost think a long drive contest lends itself better to a medal, where you can have preliminaries and heats and guys are going for the gold like a sprint," he said. "In golf when you have 72 holes, it’s hard to be excited about it.”
Given how the game's global schedule will have to change to accommodate Olympic golf in 2016, Cink is concerned, too, about the possibility of top names skipping the tournament because of a lack of a purse.
“Then because of that what bothers me is the chance that a very highly ranked player will say, ‘No, thanks, I’ll pass,’" he said. "Then golf looks like a bunch of spoiled brats, ‘We won’t play unless we get paid.’"