s player-manager with the Tigers before departing the club in

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RIO DE JANEIRO -- The kids who took swings in a hitting bay set up near the entrance to the Olympic Golf Course probablly have no idea the identities of Justin Rose and Inbee Park, the gold-medal winners at the mens and womens golf events that began with so much angst and ended with so much glory.They were but a small part of the Olympic golf mission, but an important one going forward, the idea that inspiring youth in non-traditional golf markets might one day lead to proficient players, if not gold-medal winners.Those kids might not have even known the Brazilian golfers competing in the fields over the past two weeks, but they were exposed to golf. And wasnt that the point?Golf took a wobbly step onto the Olympic stage less than two weeks ago and emerged standing tall rather than slinking off the podium. The tournaments were a hit with locals, sponsors, television and a worldwide audience that might not have ever watched a golf tournament. There are issues to be worked out for sure; nothing is perfect.But considering all the negativity that the sport of golf dragged to Rio -- along with the number of no-shows on the mens side that threatened golfs future in the Games -- those who championed this endeavor leave Brazil glowing with pride.Its exceeded all my expectations, said Paul McGinley, the 2014 European Ryder Cup captain who served as a group leader for both the mens and womens Irish players at the Olympics. Ive gone on record for more than a year about how important golf is in the Olympics and why we should embrace it and why it shouldnt be insulated.Golf in many circles has been insulated. This has been a chance for us to dine at the top table of sport. Why are we not embracing the Olympics? And Ive been proved right. Maybe it took them some time to see it. The ladies really embraced it after the men did. The cream rose to the top at both tournaments. It shows you how both sets of players were motivated by who was here. How they got into the spirit and how they got emotionally attached to trying to represent their country and their sport.Much of the mood changed at a Tuesday news conference before the start of the mens competition. Americans Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed and Matt Kuchar were engaging, funny, self-deprecating and obviously keen to enjoy their time in Rio.It was a refreshing and somewhat surprising outlook and it carried on throughout the event. Watson became a de facto ambassador for Olympic golf, and the mood was altered.This is an absolute thrill of a lifetime, Watson said after he tied for eighth. This is the greatest sporting event Ive ever been a part of and associated with, and its a thrill of a lifetime. The Masters, I get the Masters for the rest of my life (because he has won the tournament), but its just golf. Theres no other events going on. And when you talk about a sporting event, this is a dream come true and to be part of it, its the greatest event Ive ever been a part of.It helped considerably that the mens competition was excellent. Major champions Rose of Great Britain and Henrik Stenson of Sweden battled on the final day, tied on the 18th tee, with Rose prevailing by hitting a perfect pitch shot to set up a birdie.Stenson, who won The Open last month, took the silver medal, and American Matt Kuchar, who shot a final-round 63, snagged bronze.The photo of them on the medal stand was one of pure joy. And Rose got a heros welcome when he arrived at the London airport after his victory.The reception globally has been astonishing, said Mark Steinberg, who is Roses agent. The reception he is receiving locally within the UK, its astonishing to even Justin who is wearing a gold medal around his neck. He just cant believe the amount of people who are reaching out to him that maybe dont sit and watch golf on a Saturday and Sunday.Maybe you attribute that to the Olympic rings. Anything you want to attribute it to. Its been an astonishing appeal. Its just so great for these guys to get that type of response.Steinberg also represents Kuchar, and his phone has been ringing with potential endorsement possibilities for both medal winners. He also had three other players in the mens tournament.There were clearly some agents who were in their players ears about not coming to Rio, but Steinberg was not one of them. He encouraged his players to compete (he swears his long-time client, Tiger Woods would have embraced it and loved it had he been eligible) and made the trip to Rio himself.I commend the officials for promoting this as much as they did even when they were getting the negativity, said Steinberg of the International Golf Federation, which was made up of executives from the R&A, PGA Tour, USGA and other organizations. They stuck to their guns and I think it turned out maybe in their eyes as expected and in most eyes better than expected.It was electric out there. There was so much patriotic cheering for the player who hit a shot and the countrymen and women in the field. But it wasnt Ryder Cup or Presidents [Cup] where it was a bit more antagonistic. This was unabashed rooting for a player from their country. And a little bit more quiet, but not negative for the other players in the group. That really gave it an Olympic feel.There was never much doubt that this would be a festive and welcome occasion for the women golfers. They fretted over how the defections among the top-ranked men might hurt the overall Olympic effort for golf, but were happy to see the turnaround by those in attendance.Americans Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller both spoke passionately about competing here, what it meant to them, the uniqueness of the opportunity. And having a Hall of Famer in Park take home the gold certainly did nothing to detract from the occasion.Honestly anything that happens is icing on the cake, said LPGA commissioner Mike Whan during the tournament. The Olympic movement has become crystal clear to me. We roll into a lot of countries, especially in Asia, and they have a term called podium sports. Youre either a sport or a podium sport. If youre a podium sport, that means someday somebody might be standing on a podium with their flag representing their country. And those podium sports get funded. They are funded on team programs, coaches, access to facilities.Ive seen podium sports change golf now. Theyre getting government funding. If youre a young kid, because it is a podium sport, there are opportunities that might not have been there five or six years ago. Thats the movement. What it means to our sport is already happening, its already impacted womens golf.To keep that kind of impact, however, golf has to remain in the Games beyond 2020 in Tokyo. And there was great fear that golf blew its chance. Now that trepidation has been replaced with optimism, with an excellent two weeks in Rio to build upon.Certainly there are problems to resolve. The schedule, especially on the PGA Tour, needs to be more conducive so players are not stretched so thin, as is clearly the case at this point. A format that would include a team portion would almost universally be endorsed.Golfs leaders need to sort through those issues quickly, vet them publicly, and assert themselves a little over a year from now when all of the Olympic sports are judged for inclusion in the 2024 Games.This helped tremendously in the Olympics moving forward because there was so much talk going in about the negativity and those not playing, Steinberg said. Once the balls got in the air, and everybody could see what was going on, it was a tremendous golf event. I think it did wonders for golf in the Olympics going forward and post-Tokyo. We all know the vote comes well before that sometime in the fall next year. But I think this did wonders.In the meantime, there is nothing wrong with relishing what just occurred and using it as a springboard to something better. The players performed, the golf course was a unique and formidable test, spectators enjoyed the experience even if some didnt know a birdie from a bogey.Olympic golf might not be on the same level as a major championship. It might not even rate as high as a World Golf Championship event or even a regular PGA Tour or LPGA Tour event.But an Olympic medal certainly does mean something. The six players who earned them in the past seven days showed as much. And maybe to those kids swinging clubs in a hitting a bay, it will one day be the ultimate achievement in the game. Order Air Max 95 Online . -- Former San Diego Chargers safety Paul Oliver was found dead at his Atlanta-area home Tuesday night, and a medical examiner said Wednesday that the ex-player committed suicide. Cheap Nike Air Max 95 Womens . White came in fourth place in the event. He was the two-time defending gold medallist. The gold medal went to Swiss snowboarder Iouri Podladtchikov. http://www.airmax95ireland.com/ . LOUIS -- Cardinals cleanup hitter Allen Craig says hes recovered from a foot injury and ready to be put on St. Cheap Air Max 95 Ireland .Y. -- The Buffalo Sabres have placed centre Cody Hodgson on injured reserve and recalled two players from their AHL affiliate in Rochester. Air Max 95 Womens Black . 9. Price, heading to the 2014 Olympics for Canada, was named the First Star after posting wins in three starts with a 1.00 goals-against average and a .971 save percentage.Blackburn Rovers have approached Manchester United for permission to speak to their U21 manager Warren Joyce about the vacant managerial position at Ewood Park, according to Sky sources. Rovers are searching for a new boss after Paul Lambert decided to step down following the final Sky Bet Championship game of the season against Reading. Neil Warnock has been linked with the position following his decision not to extend his stay at Rotherham United, but it appears Blackburn have now turned their attention to Joyce.Joyce, 51, made over 600 appearances as a midfielder with Bolton, Preston, Plymouth Argyle, Burnley and Hull.He had a spell as player-manager with the Tigers before departing the club in 2000 and he also spent two seasons in Belgium as coach of Royal Antwerp.Joyce moved on to Manchester United in 2008 and managed the U21 side along with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer before taking sole charge in December 2010, guiding them to their third U21 Premier League title in four seasons this term.ddddddddddddHe recently survived the Academy reshuffle at Old Trafford that saw U18 manager Paul McGuinness depart the club, but his future is likely to be in Jose Mourinhos hands.Joyce is keen to make the step up to manage at a higher level, although he wishes to know where he fits into Mourinhos plans before making a final decision. It is thought United will not stand in Joyces way if he wishes to leave, but will defer the final decision to Mourinho. Also See: United seal U21 title Lambert leaves on a high Warnock: No Blackburn offer Eight players leave Rovers Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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