Sergio Garcia believes those that doubted the importance of golf to the Olympic Games must have "been on drugs" and labelled his decision to play at Rio 2016 as the best he has made.
Golf has returned to the Olympics calendar for the first time since 1904 in Brazil, but the competition was hit with a plethora of high-profile withdrawals with none of the world's top four of Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy or Dustin Johnson in action, with concerns over the Zika virus and scheduling highlighted as the main reasons.
But Spaniard Garcia, who is tied 22nd on two under par after three rounds, believes golf's detractors at the Olympics have been proven wrong.
Posting on Twitter, Garcia wrote: "Whoever said @OlympicGolf didn't mean anything must've been on drugs cause this is absolutely amazing!!
"Coming to Rio, my best decision ever!"
Whoever said @OlympicGolf didn't mean anything must've been on drugs cause this is absolutely amazing!!Coming to Rio, my best decision ever!-- Sergio Garcia (@TheSergioGarcia) August 13, 2016
After three rounds, it is Great Britain's Justin Rose that leads the way on 12 under par, just one stroke clear of Open champion Henrik Stenson.
Rose believes that it is impossible to judge the scale of winning an Olympic gold until after Sunday's final round.
"It would mean an awful lot. You see how much it means to other athletes here in Rio, how people commit and devote their lives to an Olympic medal. To have one would just be unbelievable," he said.
"In golf we haven't had the opportunity to realise how much it means yet. But when we see someone with a gold medal around their neck tomorrow, we are all going to realise what a big moment that is."