Golf legend Arnold Palmer said Friday that he believes the future growth of the sport lies in how it’s embraced internationally by Olympics fans.
“As the Olympics cast their influence on the world with golf becoming an Olympic sport it is going to have a great affect on the game,” Palmer told Reuters during his tournament at Bay Hill.
“International golf is going to become a bigger factor as time goes on than it is now and I think that we as a nation and the [U.S.] are going to have to take a look at the international aspects of golf.”
To be fair, twelve nations are represented in the top forty spots in the World Golf Rankings, but to be just as fair, another 19 are from the States. Palmer added that he would have loved the opportunity to play in the Games (which haven’t been contested since St. Louis in 1904), but that he’s at least a little concerned with the recent delays in course construction down in Rio.
“I am still little nervous about the Olympics and how that will transpire in 2016 simply because they are a little behind the gun already and they are going to have to pick up pretty quickly. It takes a little time to build a golf course and takes a little more time for it to mature into a championship type golf course.”
The Gil Hanse-designed course broke ground earlier this week after a six month land dispute.
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s Olympic Committee says eight of the country’s athletes have registered positive in doping retests for the 2012 London Games.
The brief statement from the ROC on Saturday did not give names or what disciplines the athletes were in, but said they came from three different sports.
It said further information would not be released until so-called “B samples” were tested that would confirm or contradict the retests.
U.S. Olympic track and field hopefuls compete in the biggest meet before the Olympic Trials at the Prefontaine Classic on Saturday, live on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.
The premier annual international meet in the U.S., hosted at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field, takes place five weeks before the U.S. Olympic Trials at the same venue.
The Pre Classic fields on Saturday include U.S. Olympic champions Justin Gatlin (100m), Dawn Harper-Nelson (100m hurdles), Aries Merritt (110m hurdles), LaShawn Merritt (400m) and Sanya Richards-Ross (400m).
International stars such as two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica and Olympic 400m champion Kirani James of Grenada also dot the entry lists.
A full preview with start lists and highlight events to watch is here.
NBCSN will air live coverage Saturday from 3:30-5 p.m. ET. NBC will air live coverage from 5-6 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Live Extra will stream all 2 1/2 hours.
LIVE STREAM: Prefontaine Classic — 3:30-6 p.m. ET