Nicklaus Sorenstam to promote golf as Olympic sport


Ponte Vedra Beach, FL ' Jack Nicklaus and Annika Sorenstam will lend their support in the International Golf Federation's bid to reinstate golf as an Olympic sport, the IGF announced on Thursday.
As Global Ambassadors, the two World Golf Hall of Fame members will represent the Olympic golf effort at select international events and lend ongoing support to the IGFs Olympic Golf Committee, which is spearheading the bid.
It is an honor and privilege to take an active role in assisting golfs bid to become an Olympic sport, said Sorenstam, a native of Sweden whose stellar career includes 89 world-wide victories as a professional, 72 on the LPGA. Now, as I step aside from competitive golf, a major objective of mine is to help grow the game around the world and I can think of no better way to grow it than through the Olympics.
Nicklaus, considered by many the greatest player in the sports history with a record 18 professional major championships and 118 worldwide tournament victories, notes the perfect alignment between Olympic ideals and the values inherent in golf. As a player and now a course designer, I have seen the game of golf enjoy tremendous growth worldwide, and we are seeing the game introduced and grow in new countries and markets every day, Nicklaus said. Golf truly embodies the Olympic spirit with a foundation built upon honor, integrity, dignity and sportsmanship.
Many of the games biggest stars already have voiced support for golfs Olympic bid, including Tiger Woods of the United States and Lorena Ochoa of Mexico. A number of players expressed their viewpoint in a series of short films shown to the IOC Programme Commission during last months formal bid presentation made by Peter Dawson, chief executive of The R&A and joint secretary of the IGF, and PGA TOUR executive Ty Votaw, Executive Director of the IGF Olympic Golf Committee.
Weve said all along that it is critical to have the support of the games leading players, and now to have two of golfs icons serve as Global Ambassadors for the Olympic cause speaks volumes to the degree of support we have, Votaw said.