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Architects make final pitch for Olympic design

Jack Nicklaus
Getty Images

On Tuesday, the eight finalists bidding to win the contract to design the golf course which will host the sports return to the Olympics in 2016 made their final pitch to the committee which will determine the winning architect.

The process has been a secretive one, leaving little indication of the favorite to design the Olympic course in Rio de Janeiro. The size and makeup of the committee evaluating the panelists is unclear.

The committee will pick from a wide variety of firms and ad hoc teams created specifically for this contest. Legends like Jack Nicklaus and Annika Sorenstam, Greg Norman and Lorena Ochoa, as well as Gary Player, seek to apply a mix of a broad resume and brand-name appeal to the course.

Renowned trade architects Tom Doak, Gil Hanse, Martin Hawtree and Robert Trent Jones Jr. seek to share their global expertise in creating tracks tailored to their geography and demands.

Aussie legend Peter Thomson has teamed with compatriot Karrie Webb, along with Ross Perrett, to form a team that blends name recognition and experience.

The eight finalists, however, are not talking. They all signed non-disclosure agreements early in the process, so their vision for the Brazil course is unknown.

In fact, the day on which the winner will be revealed is uncertain. It could be as soon as the end of the week but could stretch even longer.

The winner, whenever they are announced, will immediately become the early face of Olympic golf and its hope to remain in the games beyond 2020.