Golf's Top Names Line Up in Support of Olympic Bid

The group behind getting golf into the 2016 Olympic Games, the International Golf Federation, has received backing from some of the game's biggest names. No. 1-ranked Tiger Woods, Padraig Harrington and Colin Montgomerie are among the 18 players who have voiced their support for the effort.

As part of the IGF's push, the players are sending a 32-page brochure detailing the bid and a personal letter of support to International Olympic Committee members from their respective countries. The IOC's final vote on whether to add no more than two sports will take place at the 121st IOC session, scheduled for October 2009 in Copenhagen.

The host for the 2016 Games will also be determined at that time, with Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo among the contenders.

Other players stepping up include Hall-of-Famers Jack Nicklaus and Annika Sorenstam. The IGF is targeting the IOC representatives from 75 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 in order to give us the best chance of being selected by the IOC to participate in the 2016 Olympic Games," said Peter Dawson, chief executive of the R&A and secretary of the IGF.

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

Golf is one of seven sports under consideration, with the others including baseball, karate, roller sports, rugby sevens, softball and squash.

In 2008 Dawson said that a stroke-play competition would be the proposed format for golf at the Games, with both men and women participating.

The last time golf was an Olympic competition was at the 1904 Games in St. Louis. George Lyon of Canada beat American H. Chandler Egan to earn the gold medal, while two others from the U.S., Burt McKinnie and Francis Newton, tied for the bronze. Golf was scheduled to be played in 1908 in London, with Lyon on hand to defend his title, but the event was canceled at the last minute.