Golf makes final pitch for Olympics

In the next step to get golf included in the 2016 Olympics, International Golf Federation executives made a pitch for their sport June 15 before the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board.

The IGF delegation was expected to underscore two key points: No major championship would conflict with the Olympic golf competition, and the sport’s best athletes would be available to participate in the Summer Games.

As part of the lobbying effort, the IGF also invited Annika Sorenstam and Colin Montgomerie to address IOC leaders. They joined the delegation, which included PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, Hisako “Chako” Higuchi, LPGA of Japan president and World Golf Hall of Fame member, IGF co-secretary Peter Dawson and IGF executive director Ty Votaw.

In earlier discussions with Olympic officials, Votaw and Dawson – who have been spearheading golf’s campaign for the Olympics – have touted the sport’s growing participation worldwide and its values, which closely mirror Olympic ideals such as honesty and sportsmanship.

IGF officials hope the IOC Executive Board will find golf to be a good fit for the Summer Games and recommend it as one of two sports for inclusion in 2016.

The Executive Board’s recommendation is expected in mid-August, and the entire IOC membership is scheduled to conduct a final vote in October. During that IOC session in Copenhagen, Denmark, the host city for the 2016 Games also will be determined. The candidates are: Chicago; Tokyo; Madrid, Spain; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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