RIO DE JANEIRO – Rickie Fowler marched in the Opening Ceremony and took photos with Michael Phelps.
He and teammates Matt Kuchar, Patrick Reed and Bubba Watson attended swimming on Tuesday to see Phelps’ double gold-medal night. Fowler saw Phelps afterward to congratulate him and posted a photo to his Instagram account.
These are things that only happen because golf is included in the Olympics.
“It’s inspiring to watch fellow U.S. athletes do well, compete, get a medal, gold, whatever it may be,” Fowler said. “And to see what Phelps has done over numerous years and to see what (Katie) Ledecky is doing right now and has done, like I said, it’s inspiring.
“You get chills watching them when they win, when they do well, and it just kind of pushes you to want to do the best that you can.”
Kuchar took it a step further.
“Michael Phelps, the greatest Olympian ever, it’s cool he’s a golf junky,” he said. “It kind of proves the value of our sport that the greatest Olympian of all time loves coming out and loves going to our competitions and playing in our competitions.
“Had the opportunity in China of playing with him, of actually getting in the pool with him, swimming, seeing him do his thing during (Golf Channel’s) Haney show. I think it speaks volumes of our sport to have that guy love the game of golf like he does.”