News24

Games great for golf - Phil

2009-10-27 13:19

Singapore - World number two Phil Mickelson believes golf's return to the Olympic Games is the greatest thing that could happen to the sport.

Despite the odd note of dissent, golf featuring in the 2016 Games has been celebrated by leading figures in the sport, who anticipate a surge in participation around the world as a result.

"Everybody I have talked to is excited about golf becoming a part of the Olympics," said Mickelson as he prepared for this week's Barclays Singapore Open.

"It is the greatest thing that can happen to our sport.

"It will allow the growth of the game on a global basis and with the Olympic foundations we will have a lot of money put towards the growth of the game for educating and teaching juniors.

"I think the game of golf will finally get the recognition it deserves."

The International Golf Federation (IGF) has promised that the world's best will take part in Olympic golf, which will see 60 players in both the men and women's competitions facing off over 72 holes.

Mickelson added that a shortened season in the United States was also good for the game, allowing players like himself and Tiger Woods to travel more globally to help promote the sport.

"Our season in the US has been shortened and that allows many of the top players to play internationally and allows me to come here and compete," he said.

"I am hoping this will help grow the game in addition to the Olympics."

Mickelson heads to Shanghai after Singapore for the HSBC Champions, where he will renew his rivalry with Woods.

AFP