IGF will look into format changes for 2020 Games


RIO DE JANEIRO – One of the recurring criticisms associated with golf’s return to the Olympics has been the format, 72 holes of individual stroke play for both the men’s and women’s competition.

Some, including Sergio Garcia, have said they would have liked to have had some sort of mixed team event along with the individual competition.

“I would have loved it to be something a little bit different. Maybe not doubles, but maybe a singles and mixed double event,” Garcia said. “It would have been fun.”

The decision to use the standard stroke-play format, according to International Golf Federation president Peter Dawson, was largely out of necessity.

 “It’s a difficult one, really, The [International Olympic Committee] want the Olympic champions to be champions in a mainstream sport, not in some format that the sport otherwise never uses,” Dawson told GolfChannel.com.

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Dawson added that if officials added a team element to the Games it would also require additional scheduling, which was already stretched thin this year by the addition of the Olympics to the schedule.

Still, Dawson said the IGF will study a potential format change before golf returns to the Games for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

“What you might see is some changes in format,” he said. “We’ll be looking at that.”

Any change to the format would be a part of the general review of golf that will be made during the IOC session in September 2017.