Format key to golfs inclusion in Olympics


Golf put its best foot forward to the Olympics Thursday in Switzerland as part of a formal presentation to get its game into the the Games in 2016. Now the International Olympic Committee wants to know what the competitive format will be if it admits golf as an official sport. has learned that one early favorite, among the plans being considered, calls for every country to be allowed two players into the Olympic golf competition with one key exception: Any country with more than two players in the top 10 in the world rankings would be allowed to enter all of its top 10 players.
PGA Tour executive vice president Ty Votaw, who is serving as the point man for the International Golf Federation in its quest for admission to the Olympics, told, in a phone interview from Switzerland late Thursday, that the IOC, wants to know the format because they want to know whether or not all the worlds best players will participate.
Votaw said the IGF is still formulating final plans on just how Olympic golf would look and added that his organization will submit responses to a detailed questionnaire in March that constitute the formal and technical bid.
Votaw appeared Thursday before the IOCs Programme(cq) Commission at the IOCs headquarters in Lausanne. He was accompanied by Peter Dawson, the chief executive of the R&A and joint secretary of the IGF.
During the presentation, the IOC saw a series of film clips showing support from many of the worlds top players. The list included Lorena Ochoa and Tiger Woods, the No. 1 ranked woman and man, respectively, in the world. Other supporting testimony came from Annika Sorenstam, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, Paula Creamer, Sergio Garcia and many other international golf stars.
Votaw said a match play format was not off the table at this point. Nor, he said, had the possibility of combining medal and match play been ruled out by the IGF.
The IOC has received bids from seven different sports for inclusion into the 2016 games. No more than two of those seven sports ' golf, baseball, karate, roller sports, rugby sevens, softball and squash ' will be granted entrance by the IOC. Baseball and softball are applying for reinstatement.
The IOC is expected to announce which, if any, of these applications are successful in October of 2009. At that time the IOC is also expected to name its 2016 venue for the Summer Games. The four finalist cities are Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.
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