JOSE Maria Olazabal believes it is ‘crucial’ that golf is back at the Olympics in Rio this summer.

The ex-Ryder Cup captain was joined at La Reserva Golf Club by Sergio Garcia, Olympics captain Manuel Pinero and European Tour president of international relations George O’Grady.

RIO TEAM: Garcia, Olazabal and Pinero plot Olympics success
RIO TEAM: Garcia, Olazabal and Pinero plot Olympics success

With golf back at the Olympics for the first time since 1904, the players spoke of their ‘pride’ at representing Spain.

“To be in the Olympics is crucial for golf,” said Olazabal.

“In 15 or 20 years time we will reap the rewards because golf will come to countries we had never imagined.”

Garcia, whose Sergio Garcia Foundation hosted this month’s Open de Espana, said he ‘couldn’t be more proud to be an Olympic athlete’.

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