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Rio Olympics: Ireland's Padraig Harrington launches attack on the 'sheep' who opted to pull out of Games

Padraig Harrington has branded some of those who stayed away from the Rio Olympic golf tournament as "sheep" after shooting a solid opening one-under round of 70.

Revealing that he is getting daily texts from '56 Olympic champion, Ronnie Delany, Harrington is adamant that the players who qualified for the Games but chose not to travel to Brazil will ultimately regret the decision.

Asked if they mis-read the situation, he reflected "I think completely, yeah. There's a few conscientious objectors who just don't see why professional golf is in the Olympics. If that's your opinion, that's fine.

"I would have to say there was a lot of sheep in this decision. They kept just following each other out the door. It's hard to believe. It's a perfect time in the schedule. The four Majors are over, what else is there to play for this year?

"I just don't understand what anyone else think they're playing for. There's four Majors and you've got the Olympics. There is no point in saving yourself for anything else."

Olympic captain, Paul McGinley, believes Harrington will have a real shot at gold if he can stay within four shots of the leaders starting Sunday's final round.

Irish Independent

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