Golf’s bid to become an Olympic sport in 2016 has been enhanced with the support of 18 of the game’s elite players.

An array of international stars including the likes of Tiger Woods, Padraig Harrington and Sergio Garcia have voiced their support for the cause with personal letters to the International Olympic Committee. In addition, World Golf Hall of Fame members Jack Nicklaus and Annika Sorenstam have provided the cause with their own personal backing.

The last time golf was an Olympic sport was in 1904. The sport, however, has evolved beyond recognition over the past century and there seems to be reason for optimism about the possibility of golf returning to the Olympic roster.

Ty Votaw, Executive Director of the IGF Olympic Golf Committee believes “there is a very compelling case as to why golf should be reinstated as an Olympic sport, and a large reason for that is the support from top players.”

In order to be reinstated, golf is competing for two places amongst six other sports; namely, baseball, karate, roller sports, rugby sevens, softball and squash.

Significantly, those countries bidding to host the 2016 games (USA, Spain, Brazil and Japan), already boast golfing facilities of the highest calibre. A decision will take place at the 121st IOC session, scheduled for October 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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