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Golf world unites for Olympic bid

R&A chief executive Peter Dawson
Dawson believes the sport has learned from previous failed Olympic bids

Golf's major governing bodies have united to set up a committee which will push for the sport to be included in the 2016 Olympics.

The International Golf Federation (IGF) changed its structure following golf's failure to be included in London 2012.

Peter Dawson, chief executive of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club (R&A), said golf now "spoke with one voice."

He said: "There's much to be done, but we're putting together the right organisation to get the job done."

The IGF's Olympic committee is to be headed by PGA Tour official Ty Votaw and represents the R&A, the USGA, LPGA, PGA Tour, European Tour, Augusta National and the PGA of America.

Two from seven sports - golf, baseball, karate, roller sports, rugby sevens, softball and squash - will be added to the Games in eight years' time.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will make a decision next October, when they will also decide on whether Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo or Rio de Janeiro will host the event.

Dawson said lessons had been learned from the previous failed bid, saying: "I think golf was not really speaking with one voice at the time and we were nowhere near as advanced as we are now with our anti-doping policies and so on.

"We visited the IOC in Lausanne recently and it was made pretty clear to us at that meeting that a bid from golf would be warmly welcomed by the IOC, so I think we're in much better shape."

England's Justin Rose, who will be competing at the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale this weekend, said he would welcome the opportunity to compete in the Olympics.

"I'd love to be a part of it," said Rose, who will be 36 in 2016.

"The Olympics is all about competing at the highest level, world records and things like that. That's what the Olympics means to me. Golf at the Olympics would be fantastic."

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