MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Adam Scott is delighted that this week’s World Cup of Golf has returned to a more traditional team event but the Australian remains opposed to any future participation at the Olympics.
The primarily individual format used at the last edition in 2013 has been jettisoned in favor of a two-player team event for this year’s 72-hole tournament, starting at Melbourne’s Kingston Heath on Thursday.
The first and third days of 28-nation competition will see the teams compete in alternate shot play while the second and final days are best ball.
Former world number one Scott and Jason Day won the last edition, also held in Melbourne, with the latter clinching the individual title for the lowest overall score.
Current number one Day has been forced to withdraw from the tournament due to a lingering back injury so Marc Leishman has stepped in to partner Scott in the Australia team at the tournament.
“It was great to win but it was a shame that we didn’t play one round together through the event,” Scott told reporters on Wednesday.
“It didn’t have that team feel even though we were playing as a team, so this week will be a lot more fun for Marc and I going around together all four rounds.”
The Rio Olympics in August consisted of men’s and women’s 72-hole individual stroke-play tournaments as golf marked its return to the Games after a 112-year absence.
Scott, the 2013 Masters champion, skipped the Games, citing scheduling conflicts as the main reason for opting out of the tournament won by Britain’s Justin Rose.
While the current world number seven believes a team-play format could boost golf at the Games, he was far from certain over his own participation at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“I think it could be a positive thing for the Olympics if they use this format but you’re always going to face scheduling issues with the Olympics being in the middle of the year,” Scott said. “I don’t really know what the answer is for that.”
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by John O’Brien)