posted on May, 19 2004 @ 04:15 PM
Golf could reappear as an Olympic sport at Beijing in 2008 after an absence of more than a hundred years but there are conflicting views as to whether
it should feature the game's leading professionals.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) says the top players would have to take part to merit the sport's return, a feeling echoed by the
International Golf Federation (IGF), which is keen to reintroduce golf to the Olympics.
However, three-times major winner Ernie Els and world number one Tiger Woods are among several leading players who would prefer their sport to be
restricted to amateurs only if it returns to the Summer Games schedule for the first time since 1904.
The four major championships represent golf's holy grail, and the leading players believe that anything else Olympic gold medals included would rank
as second best.
For golf to appear at the Olympics for the third time in the history of the Games another sport would have to make way, although the IOC has not
thrown out a sport since 1936.
At an IOC session in Mexico in November 2002, three sports facing exclusion modern pentathlon, softball and baseball were given a reprieve when
members resisted a proposal to drop them.
Members voted to postpone any cuts of entire sports until after this August's Olympics in Athens.
[Edited on 19/5/04 by TRD]