As a lifelong tennis fan, I’ve seen the sport I love the most go from having players mostly indifferent to the Olympics to greatly cherishing the Summer Games. With golf returning to the Olympics, I think we will see the same thing happen, only quicker. Even this year, as the men played first, it was wonderful to see the joy of Justin Rose when he won Olympic Gold. To hear Matt Kuchar speak of how much a third place finish, and thus a bronze medal, meant this week compared to other tournaments suggests to me that golf at the next Summer Olympics will have an even more enthusiastic response.
However, when it comes to the women players, the enthusiasm already seems very high. As a fairly hardcore follower of women’s golf, the chance to represent their country in Rio was a high priority for a lot of the ladies. 19-year old world #1 Lydia Ko is probably the favorite any time she tees it up, but look out for my favorite player, world #2 Ariya Jutanugarn. May comes into Rio as a newly crowned Major champion at the Women’s British Open. If it can’t be Jutanugarn with the Gold in Brazil, then of course I will pull for the Americans, particularly Lexi Thompson. Ariya, Lexi…well, Michelle Wie isn’t here…but looking at my faves, I clearly like the ladies who can grip it and rip it. Let the games begin!
ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE
ARIYA JUTANUGARN (Thailand)
SU-HYUN OH & MINJEE LEE (Australia)
LEXI THOMPSON (United States)
STACY LEWIS (United States)
INBEE PARK (South Korea)
SHIHO OYAMA (Japan)
BROOKE HENDERSON & ALENA SHARP (Canada)
KLARA SPILKOVA (Czech Republic)
AZAHARA MUNOZ & CARLOTA CIGANDA (Spain)
LEONA MAGUIRE & STEPHANIE MEADOW (Ireland)
URSULA WIKSTROM & NOORA TAMMINEN (Finland)
GWLADYS NOCERA & KARINE ICHER (France)
SHANSHAN FENG (China)
MARIAJO URIBE (Colombia)
TIFFANY CHAN (Hong Kong/China)
CATRIONA MATTHEW & CHARLEY HULL (Great Britain)
HARU NOMURA (Japan)
XIYU LIN (China)
JULIETA GRANADA (Paraguay)
SEI-YOUNG KIM (South Korea)
LYDIA KO (New Zealand)
Will definitely be watching the competition, as these ladies seem to be fired up for it. Would not be surprised if the Koreans did not medal..In Bee is injured, and Amy Yang and In Gee choked at the International competition. Sei Young Kim would be the only one that I believe would medal. I think the Americans have a great opportunity to grab one or two medals. Would love to have a surprise from out of nowhere like Granada win the gold as Monica Puig did in women’s tennis for Puerto Rico..it was the first time in Olympic history that the national anthem of that country/commonwealth of USA was ever played.
Of course, I hope Ariya wins…have my eye on Minjee Lee and Su Oh from Australia as darkhorses.