The U.S. Open winning duo of Geoff Ogilvy and Graeme McDowell have joined a growing call for organisers to abandon the thought of staging a 72-hole stroke-play tournament when golf returns to the Olympics in 2016.
Sixty men and a similar number or women players will compete in Rio de Janeiro when golf return to the Olympics for a first time since 1904.
Ogilvy and McDowell want the Olympic golf event to stand apart from the regular tour events to ensure the reward of either gold, silver or a bronze medal is special.
“It would be the worst possible format if organisers of the 2016 Olympics went for a 72-hole stroke-play tournament,” said Ogilvy.
“They’ve got the opportunity to create something very cool because 72-holes is hardly an inventive.”
McDowell could qualify for the Olympics under either the GB & I flag or the Ireland flag in four years time.
However he’s concerned more for the lasting appeal of golf returning to sport’s greatest arena.
“I agree that it needs to be a special format and that would be a good move,” said McDowell.
“Seventy-two holes has always seems the best way to find the best player whereas match-play doesn’t always provide the best player.
“Maybe they could have 36-holes of qualifying for eight players to then compete for the gold medal could be worthwhile.”
And even former British Open champion, Stewart Cink, who is also a member of the PGA Tour’s Players Committee, also has called for a change in format.
“A 72-hole stroke-play tournament doesn’t lend itself that well to the medal race,” said Cink.
“I almost think a long driving contest lends itself better to a medal than 72-holes, where you can have preliminaries and heats and guys are going for the gold like a sprint.”