Golf’s return to Olympics in 2016 now has a leader to oversee the industry’s best interests for the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.
This week, Antony Scanlon was appointed executive director of the International Golf Federation. The IGF coordinated the successful bid last year to the International Olympic Committee for golf’s inclusion after the sport’s 112-year absence.
Scanlon, an Australian, has been involved with the Olympics since 1998. His job as executive director starts Nov. 1 in Lausanne, Switzerland, and he will be responsible for handling the day-to-day administration of the IGF in Olympic matters, including Rio’s golf venue selection.
The IGF is represented by 19 major golf organizations – including The R&A, PGA of America and Japan Golf Tour Organization – around the world.
Scanlon has worked since 2004 at the International Olympic Committee as head of Olympic Games Coordination, Operations and Services.
“Antony Scanlon has a wealth of Olympic experience; his skills and contacts will provide the IGF with a strong foundation upon which to build golf as an Olympic sport,” said Peter Dawson, IGF’s joint secretary and R&A’s chief executive.
Scanlon says he is an avid golfer with a 12 handicap. He also is a former rugby player and played cricket semi-professionally in Australia.
The IGF proposes an Olympic format of 72-hole individual stroke play for men and women. That format was recommended because top players felt that was the fairest method to identify a champion, mirroring the format used in golf’s major championships. In case of a tie, a three-hole playoff is recommended to determine the medal winner(s).
The IGF also recommends an Olympic field of 60 players for each of the men’s and women’s competition, utilizing the Official World Golf Ranking as a method of determining eligibility.
The top 15 world-ranked players would be eligible for the Olympics, 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 available players from each country that does not already have two or more players among the top 15.