Date: June 21, 2009

IGF makes final case for Olympic golf

Courtesy: R&A/International Golf Federation International Golf Federation (IGF) Global Ambassador, Annika Sorenstam and 2010 European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie will join representatives of the International Golf Federation when golf’s final case for inclusion in the 2016 Olympic Games will be made to the International Olympic Committee Executive Board on Monday night (AEST) in Lausanne, Switzerland. Sorenstam and Montgomerie will join IGF Executive Director, Ty Votaw; IGF Co-Secretary and R&A Chief Executive, Peter Dawson; Tim Finchem, PGA TOUR Commissioner; and LPGA of Japan President and World Golf Hall of Fame member, Hisako Chako Higuchi, for the presentation. Dawson and Votaw have been coordinating golf’s Olympic bid. We feel it is very important for the IOC Executive Board to be able to personally hear from two of the game s most highly respected players in Annika and Colin, Votaw said. We will also be presenting a film featuring 16 of the game s most prominent players including current world number-one ranked Lorena Ochoa and Tiger Woods, as well as IGF Global Ambassador, Jack Nicklaus, describing the compelling reasons why golf should be reinstated as an Olympic sport after an absence of more than a century. Golf has previously been contested at both the 1900 and 1904 Games. As we have noted, never before have all levels of golf around the world been as united towards a single goal as golf becoming an Olympic sport, Dawson explained Additionally, golf’s inherent values align very closely with those of the Olympic Movement, including honesty, honour, dignity and sportsmanship. Golf is one of seven sports being considered for inclusion in the 2016. The IOC Executive Committee is expected to recommend two sports to the IOC membership in August. The final vote will take place in early October at the 121st IOC session in Copenhagen, Denmark at which the host for the 2016 Games will also be determined. The candidate cities are: Chicago, USA; Madrid, Spain; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Tokyo, Japan. Dawson and Votaw have previously noted the ease with which golf would fit into any of the four finalist cities due to existing golf facilities within those countries. During the upcoming presentation to the IOC Executive Board, the IGF representatives will stress the unprecedented commitment by member organisations to adjust their summer schedules to ensure that no Major Championship conflicts or competes with the Olympic golf competition. They will also highlight the desire of the sport s best athletes to participate in the Olympic Games. The IGF will review the proposed format of 72-hole individual stroke play for both men and women; a format which reflects leading players opinion that this is the fairest and best way to identify a champion and mirrors the format used in golf&aposs Major Championships. In case of a tie for either first, second or third place, a three-hole playoff is suggested to determine the medal winner(s). An Olympic field of 60 players for each of the men&aposs and women&aposs competitions is recommended, utilising the official world golf rankings as a method of determining eligibility. The top 15 ranked players would compete, regardless of the number of players from a given country. Beyond the top 15, players would be eligible based on world ranking, with a maximum of two eligible players from each country that does not already have two or more players among the top 15. Under this proposal, at least 30 countries from all continents would be represented in both the men’s and women’s competitions.