Stenson dubbed 'Usain Bolt of golf'


Henrik Stenson's coach has billed the new Open champion as "the Usain Bolt of golf" and thinks the "hoo-ha" over the absence of the some of the world's top players at the Rio Olympics is an overreaction.

Golf will return to the Olympic schedule in Brazil next month after an 112-year absence, but Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy are among a host of stars to have pulled out of the tournament.

Questions have been raised over the future of golf at the Games following the decision by the leading four players in the world, and several others, to opt against competing due to concerns over the Zika virus.

However, Stenson, who broke an Open record by finishing 20 under to win his first major at Royal Troon on Sunday, will board the plane to Rio to represent Sweden and Masters champion Danny Willett will be striving to win gold for Great Britain on the big stage.

McIlroy said he will not watch the Olympic golf tournament as he would sooner tune in for "the stuff that matters", but Pete Cowen, coach of both Stenson and Willett, believes the Northern Irishman will be missing out.

He told Omnisport: "We've had all this hoo-ha about golf in the Olympics, well now the Olympics can say they've got the champion golfer of the year, the Open champion playing in the Olympics. Danny [Willett] is playing and he's the Masters champion.

"We've got two out of the three major champions playing in the Olympics, you're going to have a great Olympics.

"They shouldn't worry about it, if Usain Bolt didn't turn up to the Olympics they'd be up in arms, well Henrik Stenson - the Usain Bolt of golf at the moment - is turning up, so don't worry about it, it'll be a great tournament."