Monday, August 8th, 2016


Golf Channel Notable Quotes
Golf Central Live From the Olympics
Monday, Aug. 8, 2016 (9 a.m.-3 p.m. ET)
Olympic Golf Course, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

**Golf Central Live From the Olympics airs tonight at 6 p.m. ET and continues on Tuesday beginning at 9 a.m. ET.

** Hall-of-Famer Arnold Palmer shares his excitement and anticipation for golf’s historic return to the Olympics this week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in his latest ‘‘State of the Game’ column, written exclusively for Golf Channel Digital. In the column, Palmer discusses the importance of golf in the Olympics as a global vehicle in growing the game, his thoughts on what the gold medal winners will experience in hearing their national anthems played, and his excitement for watching the men’s and women’s golf competitions unfold.

On golf’s return to the Olympics
Rich Lerner – “There is no bigger worldwide stage than this. For the first time since 1904, golf is more than a game, it is an Olympic sport.”
Johnny Miller – “I’ve always been a big fan of the Olympic games. I love the whole atmosphere.”
Miller – “I’ve been involved in golf for a long time and have seen so many new things happen with the game of golf. I think it is terrific. I don’t know how it could be any better for golf than to be included in the Olympics.”
Miller – “I would love to have been an Olympian. I won a couple of individual World Cups for the United States and played in the Ryder Cup, but to be able to play in the Olympics, to me, would have been a whole different level. I think the guys are going to realize this Sunday at the medal ceremony – even the guys that aren’t here – when they see the guy getting a gold medal, they are going to say, ‘Oh man I should have been a part of that,’ Or, ‘What a great thing in Tokyo coming up if I can get a gold medal.’”
Miller – “Olympic sport is bigger than golf obviously. We love golf, those of us that are inside of the sport, but for this to be joined with Olympic sport is amazing, I think. The guys that are going to watch this, and the guys that have a chance to win, they are going to be the missionaries for golf as an Olympic sport because they are going to say, ‘This was way bigger than I thought it was going to be.’ I don’t think the guys on a world golf scene realize how huge this is going to be this week.”
Miller – “I can’t tell you how cool it would be to win the gold medal.”
Miller – “This is just going to grow. If it continues on to other Olympics, it is going to get bigger and bigger, no doubt about it.”
Brandel Chamblee – “Johnny Miller was spot on. The unique nature of going out and having to stand and get up on a podium and have your national anthem played. I do believe that we are going to see an intensity in golf that we have not seen and that we see so often in every other Olympic athletes’ faces in the Olympics.”
Tripp Isenhour – “This is new. Anytime a sport is new in venture, it is going to have some bumps along the way. This surely has. But this is here and finally, when somebody steps on that podium and holds that gold medal, it is going to be special and it will carry over into the next Olympics. Golf will be part of the Olympics, hopefully, going forward. It is not just about what it will do for the game this week, but about what it will do for the game worldwide.”
Team Ireland Captain Paul McGinley – “This is the biggest sporting event in the world and most watched sporting event in the world. Just to be here and to be a part of that is a big deal for golf.”
McGinley – “Representing your country is an incredibly humbling thing to be doing and it just gives you so much pride. That is what makes the Olympics so special, representing your country. It is something that very few people have the chance to do, and when we do, we should embrace it.”
Chamblee – “I was sitting on the desk when golf’s inclusion in the Olympics was announced. There were mixed opinions won whether it was a good thing or a bad thing. The one question you can’t get past though is, ‘How could it be a bad thing for golf?’ How could it be? It is going to put golf on the biggest stages. It is going to put golf on a stage that is shared with the entire family who watches the Olympics.”
Chamblee – “We all know what upsets do to the fervor of a country. Here in this country it was Francis Ouimet at the 1913 U.S. Open who staggered two of the biggest stars in golf and it lead to the biggest growth spurt in the United States. Same thing happened to Se Ri Pak. Same thing happened when the World Cup went to Japan in 1957, Sam Snead and Jimmy Demaret got beat and the game exploded in Japan. It is very likely that could also happen this week.”
David Feherty – “It is tremendously important, especially for countries, say like India. Golf is so rare. 999 people out of 1000 will know what an Olympic gold medal is, but maybe only one would know what a Green Jacket is. Being able spread the sport around the world is a tremendously important event.”
Nick Faldo – “I’d have liked to have been called an Olympian. I think that is the cool thing about this. Golf is now recognized as an athletic sport in the Olympics. This can change some pre-conceived notions about golf as an old man’s sport. For now to be an Olympic event, the whole atmosphere of the week is quite special. I think it is an incredibly important time for our game.”
Faldo – “I would have definitely been here. If this was in my era, I would have wanted to compete for a gold medal, 100 percent. For the other guys who have decided not to come, they made decisions for different reasons, but they might think, ‘I might have pulled the wrong club there.’” I think they are going to regret that and say, ‘I really wish I was there.’ At the end of the day, I hope we haven’t blown it because obviously we want this to stick around. This is extremely important.”
Chamblee – “By the end of this week, it will occur to somebody that they are doing something that has not been done in the game of golf in over 100 years. They are not going to walk out on a green and get a trophy. They are going to stand on a podium and get a medal, and their national anthem is going to be played. Those players that chose not to go, at that moment, they are going to wish they made the sacrifice, and that is what the Olympics are all about. Sacrifices.”
Faldo – “The whole purpose of this – and so many men and ladies have put so much effort into this – all of that effort, we have to make sure that the Olympics is big enough, bold enough and great enough, so that in 2017, there is no need for any meetings, and off we go with golf continuing in the Olympics.”
Faldo – “Hopefully, in 10 or 20 years-time, there are so many players dying to be at the Olympics, like they are in the Presidents Cup or the Ryder Cup.”
Frank Nobilo – “I’d like to think golf turns the corner after this Olympics because it hasn’t been the best of years. I think that ever since Jordan Spieth hit his tee shot into the lake on No. 12 [at the Masters], golf has struggled to keep its head above water this year with a lot of things that have gone on. Maybe the talk has finally gone now, and we can worry about people playing golf. That is what makes this game great. We follow a little white ball around, male or female, young or old. The fact that it has finally made its way to the Olympics is pretty cool.”
David Duval – “I think it will slowly gain traction as we move further along and get to 2020, 2024. I don’t think there is any way that doesn’t happen, especially with the kids that are now 10, 12, 14 years old who have the potential to compete in those future Olympics as a golfer. Certainly it will gain a ton of traction.”
Lerner – “Golf is married to tradition. Happily so for the most part. It is time to expand the family. Bring in a new kid, and that’s golf in the Olympics.”

On the Olympic Golf Course
Miller – “The bottom line, I’ve looked at this design on paper and studied what he [Gil Hanse] tried to do here. Everything he did had a reason. All of the trouble is really put in places those competitors that are playing are going to have to deal with.”
Miller – “He [Gil Hanse] really put his heart and soul into this golf course.”
Chamblee – “It is getting lauded in the little it has been played and the little it has been previewed. Unique turf conditions out there are going to allow for some exciting and spectacular iron shots. There will be some risk taking out there in the last few holes.”

On U.S.A’s Rickie Fowler
Miller – “I think he has got the right spirit for Olympic sport. I really do. I think he has got the energy and I think he is going to help grow the game, especially if he starts playing really well. The younger people can really relate to Rickie and he sort of is an ‘It” guy. He really is a cool dude.”
Isenhour – “This was a disappointing major season for Rickie Fowler but a gold medal would certainly make up for that.”
McGinley – “Rickie is big all over the world. He is a tremendous brand and a wonderful personality that goes with it. He has lots of charisma, the looks and everything that you would want from a sportsman and very proud to represent his country. From day one, he has been on the frontlines about the importance of golf and representing his country.”
David Duval – “He is almost becoming the flag bearer, if you will, of the U.S. team because of that excitement for being there because he stated clearly all along this is a very big thing for him.”

On Germany’s Martin Kaymer
Chamblee – You get the feeling when he is fully engaged, he is capable of playing some of the best golf there is in the game.”

On Spain’s Sergio Garcia
Tripp Isenhour – “When playing for his flag, playing for the European team in the Ryder Cup, he plays inspired golf.”
Miller – “This is right up his alley. He loves team golf.”
Duval – “When he has something beyond himself to play for is when he becomes that much more present and aware that it is just a golf shot, and he doesn’t let his emotions get away from him where it can be detrimental. The chance to win a medal for Spain is going to serve him well.”

On the Olympics golf competitions connecting with the Millennials
Chamblee – “It is very important to connect with the millennials. There is no bigger stage, there is no bigger avenue to connect with the millennials and their families than the Olympics. This event has been years in the making, and the fact that it has the potential to take golf somewhere where it has never been. I think if you are one of those critics about golf in the Olympics, I think your mind will be changed. If not this week, certainly over the coming years as you see what golf in the Olympics will mean to so many of these countries where golf has the potential to grow.”
Miller – “It is a game of a lifetime and is probably the greatest game, especially as you get older.”

On Sweden’s Henrik Stenson
Chamblee – “You don’t see people grab a hold of the game so completely as Henrik Stenson appears to have done over the last month and a half…Hard pressed to find a player with a better potential here at the Olympics.”

Rio 2016