Harrington says 2016 Olympic golf will be bigger than the Masters

Teeing up for Olympics: Padraig Harrington says Olympics will be bigger than the Open or U.S. Masters

Ireland's Padraig Harrington says Olympic golf will be bigger than the Open or the U.S. Masters!

Harrington was talking after golf finally won admission to the Olympics.

The first golf Olympics will take place in Brazil in 2016.

However, the Irish man's comments are bound to infuriate some.

"I believe, in time, the Olympic gold will become the most important event in golf and I don't think it will take that long," he said.

"In the four years between the Olympics there will be 16 majors so winning gold will be that much more special.'

And Harrington, 38, has every intention of competing for that gold.

"Physically I should be capable of continuing for a number of years. Competing in the Olympics gives me the motivation to push on - I want to be there in 2016. Being an Olympian is a big deal in Ireland, one of the greatest honours for any Irish person."

Fellow Irish player and Ryder cup hero Darren Clarke strongly disagrees with Harrington.

He led an effort against the move to approve golf which was spearheaded by none other than Tiger Woods.

Clarke said: "I've always been against it because I grew up watching the Olympics and to me they are an amateur event."

Amateurs or no, there's bound to be some professional rivalries for the 2016 Olympics.