Watson: Olympics will 'dilute' major championships


Tom Watson told reporters Tuesday at the Australian Open that golf shouldn’t be in the 2016 Olympics and that competing for a gold medal will only “dilute” the four major championships.

“I don’t want to pour cold water on it but I don’t think it should be in the Olympic Games,” Watson, 63, said. “I still think of Olympics as track and field and not golf, to be honest with you. We have our most important championships (the four majors). You have golf in the Olympics, you have diluted the importance, in a sense, of the four major championships.”

Golf is returning to the Olympics, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, for the first time since 1904.

The eight-time major champion also weighed in on the recent decision by golf’s governing bodies to ban the anchored stroke. Watson approved the proposed rule, but did so with “mixed emotions.”

“That’s not a stroke but it makes it easier to play,” he told reporters. “My son Michael, with a conventional putting stroke, he couldn’t make it from 2 feet, but he went to a belly putter and he makes everything. The game is fun for him now, so there lies the danger. Do we take the ability for people to have fun away?”