Perhaps if the British golfers who decided to sit out the Olympics had spent more time with Justin Rose, they would have changed their minds about going to Tokyo.
The golf team of Mel Reid, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, T. Fleetwood, and Paul Casey was announced on Tuesday, but the spotlight is on the players who declined to represent Great Britain.
Several athletes, including Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Fitzpatrick, Lee Westwood, Georgia Hall, and Charley Hull, have made it clear that they will not participate in the Games.
Talks with 2016 gold medalist Rose, who he confided in, influenced T. Fleetwood, he said. That led to “the unexpected pride Justin felt and the feelings he had from winning,” as T. Fleetwood put it. He talked to me at length about it.
I thought it was amazing to see his eyes light up and hear him express his gratitude for the opportunity to compete in the Olympics and win a gold medal. Very nice to see him in person and hear him elaborate on the topic.
Class of 2021, your mission is to make history by creating your own version of Rose’s achievement in Rio. You’re not simply an individual player,” T. Fleetwood pointed out. You’re representing the whole country out there.
We wouldn’t regard that as any kind of pressure, I don’t think. That would be a great accomplishment and a source of great joy for us. It’s great that our sport has produced a gold medalist, and I’m sure everyone involved would love to see that tradition continue.
I really hope the football season remains on this high note. Every time I turn on the Olympics, I find myself watching sports I’ve never heard of and don’t understand the rules of, but I still find myself enthusiastically cheering for Great Britain in my living room.
We’ve waited an additional year for these Olympics, and it’s terrific to be here with some of the guys the nation will watch on TV as they inspire and uplift the populace.
Following Hall’s decision, an invitation to join Team GB was sent to Ewart Shadoff, who maintained it was a “no brainer” to accept. Reid and Ewart Shadoff have known each other since they were juniors in high school thanks to their shared love of golf.
Reid stated, “We spent our childhoods playing together.” Although we are both vying for victory, I would much rather see her win a medal than myself. It’s something nobody else has done before. I think it’s going to be awesome.
Meanwhile, Robert MacIntyre has already begun the long journey from East Lothian, where the Scottish Open is being held, to Kent, where the Open Championship will be held the following week.
MacIntyre missed last week’s Irish Open after he was traced back to a contact of someone who tested positive for Covid-19 on his flight home from the US Open.
A simple, “I’m going to hop in that car and drive down,” was all that the world’s 51st-ranked player had to say. To paraphrase, “I can’t afford to take any chances right now.”