Date: September 18, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes

World�s best for Olympic test event

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A one-day test event featuring up to four of the world’s top male and female golfers is planned for Rio’s new Olympic golf course.

International Golf Federation vice-president Ty Votaw said this week that the course’s first exhibition event would likely be held in March, just five months before golf returns to the Olympic family for the first time in 112 years.

“We're in conversations with top players — both men's and women's tours — but we really can't say anything more beyond that,” Votaw told Associated Press.

He said the one-day format was chosen because a four-day tournament with a full field presented risks for a course still maturing.

“We just want to make sure that the golf course can come through the grow-in season,” he said.

“To make sure that whatever competition that's held, it doesn't do anything to set back the overall conditions and grow-in of the course.”

Votaw, who walked the course recently, said the test event would likely be held early in the week to not take players away from weekend tournament schedules.

Votaw described the course as “all grown in and green” but said the next six months were important.

“I walked the golf course two weeks ago … and I was very pleased how it looked,” he said.

“While positive, that's a very small part of the overall maintenance plan and grow-in and conditioning that needs to take place between now and the Games (in August next year).

“We want to make sure that the appropriate resources, equipment and manpower are applied to this living, breathing venue.”

The course, designed by American Gil Hanse, is near the main Olympic Park in the western Rio suburb of Barra da Tijuca.