Simone Biles, mental health discussion prevalent at Olympics golf competition. Here’s what Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy had to say.

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The men’s golf competition started at Kasumigaseki Country Club outside Tokyo, just one of 33 different sports at the 2020 Summer Olympics. But the story that has dominated the headlines thus far is that of Simone Biles, who pulled out of the gymnastics team final on Tuesday, leaving in the middle of the competition after struggling to land a vault.

“After the performance that I did, I didn’t want to go into any of the other events second guessing myself, so I thought it was better if I took a step back and let these girls go out there and do the job and they did just that,” Biles told USA Today.

She said she has been trying to cope with the stress of competing at the Tokyo Olympics.

“I was still struggling with some things,” Biles said of competing Tuesday night.

The mental health discussion isn’t lost on golf. In recent months, Matthew Woff openly discussed the mental strain that PGA Tour golfers endure, and Grayson Murray followed with a tirade on social media that again shed light on the issue, including in a column by our Eamon Lynch.

A couple key players were asked for their take on the discussion this week. Here’s what they’ve had to say:

Collin Morikawa: "All you guys care about is what I do on the golf course"

Collin Morikawa hits from the rough on the eighth hole during round one of the men's individual stroke play of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Kasumigaseki Country Club. (Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

"I mean it's huge, especially what's going on today and I think over the past year and a half since really COVID started and not just COVID but everything else in the world, all these movements. It's, for me it's being able to separate myself from the golf course. You guys all you guys care about is what I do on the golf course and how I play, but there's other things that I got to separate myself go hang out with my girlfriend, hang out with our dog and just have fun. "That's what a lot of these veterans that I've noticed especially I look at a guy like Rory, Webb Simpson, they understand what's important in their life and they have families now, they have got things to worry about other than the golf course and sometimes the weight of especially what we do for such a long period of time on the golf course, it can get to people and I think people need to be aware of it, what's going on, absolutely."

Rory McIlroy: "The weight on her shoulders is massive"

Rory McIlroy lines up his putt on the eighth green during round one of the men's individual stroke play of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Kasumigaseki Country Club. (Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

"I live in the United States and anything that came on the TV, NBC or commercials about the Olympics, it was Simone Biles, it was Simone Biles Olympics, right? So to have the weight of, what is it, total six million people combined in the island of Ireland. You got 300 whatever million, so the weight on her shoulders is massive. And just as I thought Naomi Osaka was right to do what she did at the French Open and take that time off and get herself in the right place, I a hundred percent agree with what Simone is doing as well. I mean you have to put yourself in the best position physically and mentally and to be at your best and if you don't feel like you're at that or you're in that position then you're going to have to make those decisions and but I'm certainly very impressed with, especially those two women to do what they did and put themselves first. "But like that's a part of sport. That's a part of what, it's part of the job. Is it unpleasant at times for me? Yes. But I mean it's, that's just a part of what I do and where I find myself in my career and I think I watched the press conference where Serena was trying to describe how Naomi was — and some people just have thicker skin than some others and can maybe just handle it a little better and are predisposed to handle it better, but some people have to know when enough's enough and I'm glad that at least the conversation has started. There's been a few athletes that have really spoken up, Michael Phelps, Kevin Love, Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles. I mean the conversation, it's not taboo any more people can talk about it just as somebody has a knee or elbow injury, if you don't feel right 100 percent right mentally that's an injury too. "I think in sports there's still this notion of just like powering through it and digging in and you're not a competitor unless you get through these things. So I think that's probably part of it. But then when you hear the most decorated Olympian ever talk about his struggles and then probably the greatest gymnast ever talk about her struggles, then it encourages more people that have felt that way to come out and share how they felt. "I think as well I certainly have a few more tools in my mental tool box to deal with things than I maybe had a few years ago. Again it's just trying to put yourself in an environment that you can thrive in and that's the bottom line. And someone like Naomi Osaka was trying to put herself in that environment at the French Open and I think the whole sports world was behind her decision, I know it didn't play out the way she wanted it too, but it certainly started a great conversation."

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