Rio Olympic golf course

Olympic golf test event may be canceled, official says

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The president of the International Golf Federation cast doubt on holding a test event in Rio de Janeiro one year before the sport returns to the Olympics in 2016, citing delays in constructing the new course.

“We are not satisfied,” Peter Dawson said, according to Sky Sports. “I was down there just recently and, while the design of the course looks really good, the progress with the construction is not where we want it to be.

The course was originally scheduled to be completed this year, but last July architect Gil Hanse said it would not be ready to hold a tournament until 2015.

Dawson said there have been meetings in the last week in Rio to revise the construction plan and increase manpower “to bring the project back on track.”

“There have been so many revisions to the plan it’s quite hard to say how far behind they are, but I think we are going to struggle to get a test event a year before the Games,” Dawson said, according to the report. “I’m not writing that off completely, but we have to recognize that might be difficult. However, I still think it will be ready in time for the Olympics.”

Dawson’s comments came one week after the International Olympic Committee mentioned a “necessary sense of urgency” regarding progress in constructing Rio Olympic venues.

“There is no Plan B at present because I don’t think we’ll need one,” Dawson said.

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Marc Leishman will miss Olympics due to wife’s health, Zika

Marc Leishman
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Australian golfer Marc Leishman will miss the Rio Olympics due to his wife’s health.

“Many of you may know that last April my children and I almost lost my wife, Audrey, to toxic shock syndrome,” Leishman said in a statement. “Since then Audrey has been prone to infection and is far removed from 100 percent recovery of her immune system.

“We have consulted with Audrey’s physician and due to her ongoing recovery from toxic shock and potential risks associated with the transmission of the Zika virus, it was a difficult yet easy decision not to participate.

“I missed playing in the 2015 Masters tournament to be at her side when she was originally stricken and I cannot risk placing her health in jeopardy.

“The Masters and the Olympics are the two biggest tournaments to which a golfer can be invited; however, my family will always come before golf.”

Leishman, 32 with one PGA Tour win, joined the projected Olympic field when countryman Adam Scott said last month that he would skip Rio.

World No. 1 Jason Day is assured one of two Olympic spots for Australian men when the 60-man field is determined based on July 11 world rankings.

With No. 7 Scott and No. 35 Leishman out, the next-best Aussie is No. 63 Marcus Fraser.

Three more major champions — Vijay Singh, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel — also said in April they would not compete in Rio.

Golf returns to the Olympics for the first time since 1904.

MORE: Australia Olympic legend blasts Adam Scott

Rory McIlroy worried Olympic golf may be done after 2020

Rory McIlroy
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Rory McIlroy believes golf may not remain in the Olympics after 2020 following a string of major champions announcing they will skip the sport’s return at the Rio Games.

“Because of how [Olympic golf is] being approached in golf circles … I’m not sure if we’re going to have another opportunity to win a gold medal after [Tokyo 2020],” McIlroy said ahead of the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday.

In 2009, the International Olympic Committee voted to re-add golf and rugby to the Olympic program for the 2016 Olympics, with a review in 2017 if they would remain for the 2020 Olympics.

In 2013, Tokyo was elected host city for the 2020 Olympics with a plan that includes golf.

Beyond 2020, golf does not yet have a place in the Olympics. Its chances for the 2024 Olympics could come into focus when that host city is chosen in September 2017.

McIlroy, ranked No. 3 in the world, has repeated he will play for Ireland in the first Olympic golf tournament since 1904 in Rio in August.

Fellow major champions Adam ScottLouis OosthuizenCharl Schwartzel and Vijay Singh said last month they will not play in the Rio Olympics.

MORE: Golf Channel’s Olympic broadcast schedule