Finchem confident Olympic course gets done despite legal battle


ATLANTA – Despite the threat of more legal wrangling and possible delays to the construction of the Olympic golf course in Brazil, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said on Tuesday that he was still confident the layout would be completed in time for the 2016 Games.

Last week, environmentalists challenged the current layout of the course and lobbied a judge to alter the routing before any more damage is done to the Atlantic rainforest area.

The lawsuit was brought against the city of Rio and the course developer and while the judge ruled that work on the course could continue, crews would not be allowed to clear any new areas before the parties return to court on Sept. 17.

This is the second time the same thing has come up. All our legal people we talk to down there say that this is a red herring. It's a political situation in that area in Rio,” Finchem said.

“The mayor's office thinks this is a distraction. So our own people are comfortable on the ground and the people we work with down there, and the Olympic Committee, seem to be all reasonably relaxed about it.”

Finchem also said that the 2016 Tour schedule is starting to come into focus and how the Games might impact tournaments late in the year.

“It impacts some tournaments, at least perception wise,” Finchem said. “We don’t have it all nailed down yet. It’s not all negative to play that week. Whoever gets impacted we’ll mix them around for (the 2020 Games) when we’re in Tokyo.”