Date: January 25, 2016
Author: Robert Grant

Scott: If Olympics fits I’ll play

Adam Scott may yet play in this year's Olympic Games in Rio, despite repeated denials he was interested in competing for a gold medal in golf.

Scott has previously described the Olympics as an "exhibition" in relation to the inclusion of golf this year, claiming it was never a priority in his schedule.

But it now appears he is more open to the idea of potentially joining top-ranked Australian Jason Day in a power-packed team in Brazil.

"I said it's not my priority at all, and that means I'll make a decision at the very last moment whether it fits or not," Scott told AP.

"It's not the main focus of the year. It's not what I built my schedule around. If it fits in good at the time, I'll play. And if it doesn't, then I won't."

He has several months to make up his mind but needs to come up with a firm decision to be in Rio by May 6. The games will be staged from August 5-21.

This is the date that all players who would qualify for the games must agree to their inclusion in a "Registered Testing Pool" for the Olympic anti-doping program.

If players decide against playing in the games they will be dropped from the pool and can not be added at a later time.

The PGA Tour is having problems getting commitment from players for the games – where golf will be included for the first time since 1904 – because of the packed schedule.

"We've got a good list of players who are, quote, interested in coming," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. "But we don't have a long list of players who are committed to coming. That's the case with the guys who are currently playing on the PGA Tour, just because of the schedule, looking ahead to the summer, seeing the compaction. So I don't know."

Every sport must have an event at the Olympic venue ahead of the Rio Games. Finchem said if golf can arrange a pre-games hit-out with players it will count as the test event.

"We can do that with any combination of players that are being talked to," he said. "Also, I think it's probably most important to get international players. We don't know how it's going to wind up. We've got transportation issues and a sponsor the next week that's watching and saying, 'Am I going to lose anybody?'"

But holding a lead-up event continues to be problematical. For example  The World Golf Championship at Doral ends on March 6 and is followed by the Valspar Championship, where Jordan Spieth is the defending champion. Spieth wants to defend his title.

The European Tour and Asian Tour have a co-sanctioned event in Thailand that week and the key LPGA players will be teeing up in Singapore on March 6 for the HSBC Women's Champions.

British Open champion Zach Johnson's foundation has an event that week while Rickie Fowler does not want to go a month out from The Masters where important preparatory tournaments will be held.