Australia and Olympic Golf
Golf was an Olympic sport in 1900 and 1904 but there were no Australian competitors in either competition. Australia’s Olympic golfing debut will occur in Rio 2016 when it rejoins the Olympic competition. Australia currently has some of the world’s top golfers including 2009 Australian Open Winner Adam Scott, 2006 US Open Champion Geoff Ogilvy, Robert Allenby and former world number one Karrie Webb.
Golf has featured on the Olympic program twice before, in Paris 1900 and St. Louis 1904. In 1900 there were two golf events - one for gentlemen and one for ladies. The gentlemen’s event was made-up of three different competitions: a 36-hole event won by American Charles Sands; an 18-hole stroke play event won by teammate Albert Lambert; and a professional contest was played, but only two French pros took part. The ladies’ event was a 9-hole contest, won by Margaret Abbott of the US. This was the first time that women had competed in the Olympics Games. In 1904 only two countries competed in golf - the United States and Canada.
At the 2009 IOC Session in Copenhagen, golf was re-elected as an Olympic sport with a resounding 63 to 27 vote of support from IOC members. Golf will return to the Olympic program in Rio de Janeiro 2016 as a result of a systematic review of the Olympic Program where the members of the IOC cast a secret ballot for each of the 28 sports on the current summer program.
The International Golf Federation (IGF) recommended an Olympic format of 72-hole individual stroke play - mirroring the format used in major golf championships. It suggested a field of 60 players for each competition, based on World Golf Rankings. The process would guarantee the top-15 ranked players entry regardless of the number of players from their country, and then limit each country to a maximum of two competitors.