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SBD Global/March 25, 2013/Olympics

Arnold Palmer Says Golf's Future 'Lies In The Growth' Of Int'l Game, Olympics

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Seven-time major winner Arnold Palmer said that golf's future "lies in the growth" of the int'l game and a return to the Olympics, according to Steve Keating of REUTERS. After 112 years, golf will return to the Olympic program at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. Palmer said, "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. I would have enjoyed that (playing in an Olympics) had it been part of the program but I am happy that it's doing what it is doing." But while the Olympics are sure to attract the world's best golfers, Palmer is "not as convinced" that the course layout for the Summer Games will be of the same high quality that they have become accustomed to. A "renowned course architect himself," Palmer is concerned that delays in construction could mean the Olympic course "will not be of a gold medal standard." Palmer said, "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" (REUTERS, 3/23).
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