SYDNEY: World No.1 Jordan Spieth on Tuesday said he’s treating the Olympics as a “fifth major” next year as he revealed his excitement at golf’s return to the Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Barring injury or an unexpected form slump, the reigning Masters and US Open champion will spearhead a four-strong American attack in the 60-man field at the Games in Brazil.
“Just competing in the Olympics; just walking the opening ceremony, staying in the village, meeting these incredible athletes from around the world, hopefully that’s something I’ll be able to experience next August,” he said in Sydney on Tuesday.
“Winning a gold medal has got to be up there now in my mind with winning a major championship.
“I’ve been asked the question: a green jacket or a gold medal, or a Wanamaker (trophy) or an Open Championship or a gold medal? That’s not fair.
“I think this year we’re going to approach it as a fifth major and we’re going to prepare like it is and I’m going to go down there and try and take care of business.”
His enthusiasm is in contrast to Australian former world number one Adam Scott, who Spieth faces at the Australian Open in Sydney starting Thursday.
Scott last week said the Olympics was “not really a priority of my scheduling next year”.
“I’ll still base my schedule around the majors and if the Olympics fits in, then it does,” he said.
“That’s just where I see it and the point I’m at in my life and the other priorities. And the gap in the schedule there, some time off looks quite good actually.”
Golf returns to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next year after an exile lasting more than a century.