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Olympic golf tournament should be matchplay

Jason Day
Jason Day
Sam Greenwood, Getty Images

According to the World Golf Championship website on Sunday, Jason Day of Australia won the 2014 World Golf Championship in an exciting playoff over Victor Dubuisson of France.

The match lasted 23 holes in Tucson, with Dubuisson making two remarkable shots from the cactus-filled bunkers to prolong the match.

With the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi now officially over, the excitement is starting to begin for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where golf is one of two new sports being added to the program.

It has already been proposed to have a traditional 72 hole stroke play tournament to determine the Olympic medalists. However, it should not be too late for the International Golf Federation to change its mind.

The reason why a traditional 72 hole stroke play tournament for golf does not work well at the Olympic Games is because of the strong possibility that golfers could end up having a tied score. People would have no problem of a playoff for Olympic gold, but what if you have a playoff for Olympic silver or Olympic bronze? Or is the IOC ready to hand out four or five medals of the same colour? By having stroke play, it could make the tournament complicated and a little anticlimactic.

That is why match play would make more sense--because then you would have one clear Olympic gold, silver and bronze medalist.

It would also give the International Golf Federation a chance to honour its roots. At the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, 75 golfers played 36 holes, with the top 32 golfers advancing to a match play tournament. The event was won by George Lyon of Richmond, Ontario.

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