Graeme McDowell Wants to Compete in the Olympics, But Highlights Obstacle

“I’d love to play in the Olympics, no doubt. I had an opportunity in Rio the first time the Olympics golf came back on the roster for the Olympics."

by Sead Dedovic
Graeme McDowell Wants to Compete in the Olympics, But Highlights Obstacle
© Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images Sport

The Olympic Games in Paris this year will attract a lot of attention, much like any other Olympics. Although golf has not been on the list of sports since 1904, it made a comeback in 2016. 

It's challenging to assess the desire of golfers to win at the Olympics, considering most of them grew up without the opportunity to watch golf at the Olympic Games. That's one reason why even golf fans don't pay too much attention to the Olympics. 

However, in recent years, there has been a growing interest among golf fans, who have had the chance to watch this sport in the last two editions of the Olympic Games. 

One of those who dreams of playing on the big stage is Graeme McDowell. The Irishman has expressed his desire to compete at the Olympics. McDowell turned down the opportunity to compete in Rio a few years ago, a decision he now regrets. The 44-year-old golfer's chances of competing this year in Paris seem slim after joining LIV Golf, which has affected his world rankings.

“I’d love to play in the Olympics, no doubt. I had an opportunity in Rio the first time the Olympics golf came back on the roster for the Olympics. I didn’t go. I kind of regret it,” -Graeme McDowell said, as quoted by Irish Golfer.

McDowell is aware that with his current World Ranking, there are no chances of competing. However, McDowell highlights another option; There is a chance he could receive an invitation from another country.

“But with my current World Ranking I would say that’s fairly unlikely this season, unfortunately. I think I’m about 800th in the world. Unless I get residency of another country that might want me – I’ll take offers – I think I’m probably not going to be representing Ireland this year, unfortunately.”- he continued.

Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell© Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images Sport

McDowell also has ambitions to compete in the Majors this year. Although playing on the LIV Golf has significantly complicated the path for him and his colleagues to play in the Majors, McDowell still hopes that there are chances to compete in the biggest tournaments. 

Graeme hopes that he will be able to qualify to play in the US Open and the Open Championship. The Irishman has confirmed that he has entered the qualifying rounds for both competitions. 

Every golfer dreams of playing on the big stage, but the decisions of individuals who have left the PGA Tour have made their journey difficult. LIV Golfers are not entitled to ranking points. However, some do not want to comment on such matters at all, emphasizing that LIV Golfers knew what joining LIV Golf entailed.

McDowell explained his plans, stating, "I've entered for both qualifiers." He mentioned his schedule, stressing that he will be in Florida on Monday for the Houston qualifier and then in southern London on Tuesday for the International Series Morocco, which he will play right after the Open qualifying series. McDowell expressed his support for Brooks Koepka while also emphasizing his own goal of trying to qualify for a couple of majors himself.

Golf first appeared in the Olympic Games back in 1900 and 1904. Of course, during that period, the quality of golf was not at the top level as it is now, but in such competition, which was tough even then, it wasn't easy to become a champion. 

It's interesting that golfers first competed in the Olympics in Paris, and now, 124 years later, the Olympics will be held again in the same city. In 1904, the Olympics took place in the USA. 

Although 112 years have passed since golf was last included in the Olympic program, some were still not eager to watch this sport at the Olympics. Of course, as we mentioned, the reason is well known. Golf wasn't an integral part of the Olympics, so it's difficult to generate interest in a competition that historically wasn't significant for this sport. 

Golfers have been increasingly emphasizing lately that the Olympics are important to them and that they intend to achieve great things. Winning a medal at the Olympics is a huge honor for a golfer and their country, so we have no doubt that we will enjoy golf in Paris again this year.

Brooks Koepka and McDowell

Brooks Koepka and McDowell have also focused on things outside the world of golf. Specifically, Koepka decided to develop his brand by focusing on horse racing. In December 2023, 'Smash Racing' took over ownership of Givemefive. It turned out that Koepka made an excellent and successful move. The fact that McDowell knew Harry Derham, who was the previous owner of Givemefive, significantly facilitated Koepka's business endeavor.

Graeme Mcdowell Olympics