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Gary Player urges IOC to back golf

Gary Player has urged the IOC to ensure golf remains an Olympic sport after describing its return this year in Rio as a “huge success”.

The sport was back at the Olympics for the first time since 1904 this summer and, despite a host of top players pulling out in the build-up to the tournament in Brazil, in the end it proved to be a popular event with fans as Justin Rose won gold for Team GB.

Golf will again be on the agenda at Tokyo in 2020 but there had been fears the IOC would drop it for 2024 as Los Angeles, Paris or Budapest all battle to be the host city.

However, Player says it should be an Olympic sport for the forseeable future.

Speaking ahead of taking up his captain’s role at the World Cup of Golf for South Africa this weekend in Melbourne, the 81-year-old said on his official website: “The return of Olympic Golf has exceeded all expectations and will surely etch its mark in Olympic folklore forever.

“Hopefully, the IOC will not even remotely consider ever removing it from future Olympics. The golf was not only a huge success but also a beautiful spectacle put on by some amazing golfers and watched by thousands of appreciative fans. Long live golf at the Olympics!”

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