Selection of Rio Olympic Course Designer Delayed Again

Originally set for late December and later delayed one month, the decision on who will be the designer for the new golf course at the 2016 Rio Olympics has been tabled once again.

The committee in charge of selecting a golf course adjourned Friday after a week of meetings without a decision on an architect among the eight finalists.

The decision will now be made in March after further reviews.

The finalists - which include such luminaries (some paired as designer teams) as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, Annika Sorenstam, Peter Thomson, Gary Player, Lorena Ochoa, Hawtree Ltd., Gil Hanse, Robert Trent Jones II and Tom Doak - spent Tuesday and Wednesday outlining their proposals before the committee comprised of Rio 2016 organizers and Royal & Ancient Golf Club head, Peter Dawson.

"Rio 2016 was extremely pleased with the high quality of the eight proposals submitted," the committee said in a statement.

"All we can do is wait," Sorenstam told readers of her monthly newsletter. "Our fingers are crossed for this great honor."

The winning bidder must have an office legally established in Rio and will be paid $300,000 for the design of the course, which will be built in the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood, the site of many Olympic venues.

Golf is returning to the Olympics for the first time since the St. Louis Games in 1904. The sport was reinstated by an International Olympic Committee vote in 2009 after concerted lobbying from members of the golf industry. It's also guaranteed to be played in the 2020 Games; that site has not been determined.

"After the Games, the course will be managed by a private operator with the chief purpose of promoting golf in Brazil and South America, representing one of the most important Games' legacies for sport development in the country," organizers noted.