Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Golfers make push for Olympic inclusion

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SINGAPORE (AFP) — The top names in golf, led by Tiger Woods, have got together to lobby the Internatio­nal Olympic Committee to include the sport in the 2016 Summer Games.

Eighteen of the game’s biggest stars are sending a brochure detailing golf’s bid for inclusion along with personal letters reflecting their support to IOC members from their respective countries.

In addition, Jack Nicklaus and Annika Sorenstam have sent the 32page pamphlet to IOC representa­tives from 75 other countries.

“As we have consistent­ly stated from the outset of the bid process, it is imperative that the best players in the world support golf’s Olympic effort,” said Peter Dawson, joint secretary of the Internatio­nal Golf Federation.

“It also is important for us to demonstrat­e the internatio­nal nature of golf, underscori­ng the fact that 60 million people play the sport in nearly 120 countries.

“This personal outreach by internatio­nal players is a continuati­on of that effort.”

Golfers sending material to their respective IOC representa­tives include America’s Woods, Fiji’s Vijay Singh, Ai Miyazato of Japan, South African Ernie Els, Australia’s Karrie Webb and Sergio Garcia of Spain.

Golf is one of seven sports being considered for inclusion at the 2016 Games. The others are baseball, karate, roller sports, rugby sevens, softball and squash.

The IOC will vote on the matter in October.

“We certainly appreciate the effort and support of these great players on behalf of golf’s Olympic bid,” Ty Votaw, executive director of the IGF Olympic Golf Committee, said in a statement.

Golf was last an Olympic sport in 1904 in St. Louis when only the United States and Canada competed.

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