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Jordan Spieth believes it will take several Olympic cycles to determine how important winning a gold medal will become to the world's top golfers.
Golf returns to the Olympics for the first time since 1904 this summer and has provoked a mixed reaction, with former Masters champion Adam Scott openly admitting it is not a priority and Rory McIlroy sounding lukewarm about the prospect.
Asked on Wednesday if he would rather win a gold medal in Rio or another major title, Spieth initially said "Both" before adding: " That's a question that really only would get me in trouble to actually answer.
" To be honest, I don't know. It's unsure and it will be I think unsure for 10 to 20 years how significant a gold medal will be in golf.
" For me, the way I look at it right now, I look at them equal. It's very early to tell how they will end up comparing to major championships in the future.
"If I had not won a major, I would probably still say a major (over a medal). At this point I would argue that a gold medal would be very, very special."
Speaking ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, McIlroy had no hesitation in preferring a fifth major title to an Olympic medal, adding: "I think a major championship is the pinnacle of our sport. I think I'll be remembered for my major championships.
"All I've dreamed of from a little kid is winning majors. I never dreamed of competing in the Olympics or winning an Olympic medal. So in my mind, a major will always be more important."
Perhaps the Northern Irishman should take a leaf out of Spieth's book.
"If you won a gold medal for your country in the Olympics, some day you could go ahead and lie and say it was for triathlon or whatever and seem like a real athlete," Spieth joked.
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