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Top golfers shun Rio, but Callaway CEO still excited

Golf legend Greg Norman on how to save golf

Imagine if Cam Newton, Peyton Manning, Von Miller and Luke Kuechly had decided to not play in this year's Super Bowl due to health concerns. That's the dilemma facing the sport of golf as the Rio Olympics is set to kick off.

Golf is an Olympic sport this year for the first time since 1904. But most of the top male golfers are skipping the event.

Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Jason Day are staying home because of fears about the Zika virus. Phil Mickelson didn't make the U.S. team. Tiger Woods, arguably still the biggest star in the game, is hurt.

But Chip Brewer, CEO of golf equipment king Callaway (ELY), isn't concerned. He still thinks that the Olympics will wind up boosting exposure for the sport -- and potentially sales of its clubs, balls and cleats.

Brewer said he recently had dinner with Gil Hanse, the designer of the Olympic course in Rio -- and that he's now more excited than ever about golf at the Olympics.

"I can't wait. I've heard a lot about the course down there," Brewer said. "It sounds spectacular and very playable. Scores should be low."

Brewer admitted that it's unfortunate many of the world's...


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