Given the chance to play golf for Australia at the Games of the XXXIst Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, I – and it’s my guess that you – would fairly leap at it.
Rory McIlroy had a potential out from golf’s Olympic return from the moment that landmark decision was voted through in 2009. The delicacy of a Northern Irish sportsman, not least one as high-profile as McIlroy, having to declare for an Irish or British Olympic team meant the option of passing up the 2016 Games entirely was initially a live prospect.
La Fin. In France, the country where Zlatan Ibrahimovic has won so many hearts as he played out the past few years of his career in his own inimitable style at Paris Saint-Germain, a yellow curtain fell.
The United States Golf Association’s belated attempt at damage limitation arrived on Monday evening, with those responsible for the chaos which engulfed the second major of the year expressing “regret” over events at Oakmont.
Let us briefly visit a land where common sense prevails.
Circumstances had combined to strengthen Lee Westwood’s case for Ryder Cup inclusion even before his form in marquee events which suddenly renders an appearance for the Englishman at Hazeltine in September as a no-brainer.
Dustin Johnson has admitted survival from one of the most high-profile rules incidents in golf made the claiming of the 2016 US Open all the more special.
Even in context of the dramatic narrative which encapsulates Rory McIlroy as standard, events on Saturday at Oakmont stood out.
Rickie Fowler has become the latest high-profile golfer to cast doubt on his participation in the Olympic Games. Fowler, speaking immediately after a missed cut at the US Open, cited security and the Zika virus as ongoing concerns.
Perhaps the golfing gods will smile upon the honest man.
If it seems strange to be speaking of a year’s definition by late July, the nuances of golf’s rescheduled calendar because of the Olympic Games makes it a reality.
When Patrick Reed’s mobile phone burst into life, halfway through the night in an Inverness hotel room, his understandable and immediate emotion was concern.
Old town as it is, of course St Andrews has its ghosts.
With a dodgy back and an Open record that even a chiropractor cannot do much about, Justin Rose was not really expected to dominate Jordan Spieth on the sunny links. But he hit four birdies in a an opening round of three under while Spieth, a fully paid-up member of golf’s Big Four, managed only level par after fluffing the final hole.
If the adage about the magnitude of a week in politics has never been more readily applicable, we have cause to reflect upon what 12 months can mean for golf.
Jason Day bucked the trend on Friday afternoon, completing his round in 70 to be the only man in the second half of the draw to finish with an under-par total.
Billy Horschel was in no doubt.
Critics of the Open’s move away from live BBC television coverage have been given impetus after the peak audience for the first day of the championship dropped by almost 80%.
Danny Willett fears he has become a “target” for American fans at his maiden Ryder Cup with the Masters champion also conceding his experience has been tarnished and his focus hard to maintain.
Darren Clarke has expressed anger after the brother of Danny Willett used an online column to attack American fans in a supposedly light-hearted way that has spectacularly backfired.
In what will be portrayed either as a motivational masterstroke or a needless act of compassion, Bubba Watson has been named as a fifth and final vice-captain to the USA Ryder Cup team.