Saturday, October 10, 2009

Golf Approved for 2016 Olympic Programme on Vote By
International Olympic Committee

Competition will be held in Rio de Janeiro, selected as site of 2016 Games

Copenhagen, Denmark (October 9, 2009) – After an absence of more than a century, golf will return as an Olympic sport in 2016 along with rugby sevens following their approval by the International Olympic Committee membership during the IOC’s 121st Session.
They will be part of the Olympic Programme in Rio de Janeiro, which last week was selected as the host city for 2016 Games by the IOC. Golf was last an Olympic sport at the 1904 Games in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, when the United States and Canada were the only two competing countries.
“We are elated that the IOC membership has accepted golf as an Olympic sport, and look forward to seeing the world’s best golfers compete for gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro,” said Ty Votaw, Executive Director of the International Golf Federation Olympic Golf Committee, which has coordinated golf’s Olympic bid. “We thank the IOC for its support, and also congratulate rugby sevens for its inclusion in the 2016 Games.”
Votaw and Peter Dawson, chief executive of The R&A and joint secretary of the International Golf Federation, were accompanied by professionals Padraig Harrington of Ireland, Michelle Wie of the United States and Suzann Pettersen of Norway, as well as 16-year-old (British) Amateur Champion Matteo Manassero of Italy, for a final presentation to the IOC prior to the vote.
“We are extremely grateful that Padraig, Michelle, Suzann and Matteo were able to join us to help communicate the genuine interest world-class players of all ages share in golf becoming an Olympic sport,” Dawson said.
Golf and rugby sevens were recommended for the Olympic Programme by the IOC Executive Board in August following an extensive review process involving seven sports that were vying to be added to the 2016 Olympic Games. Although they emerged as the finalists, both sports still required final approval today by a majority of votes cast by the members of the IOC.
“In addition to those golfers who will have an opportunity to compete as Olympic athletes, we are excited for the national golf federations that will reap the benefits from today’s decision in terms of growth and support within their countries,” Dawson said. “This is a very significant day for golf.”
Leading up to today’s final vote, golf and rugby sevens emerged from a year-long evaluation that included formal presentations by the seven sports, the submission of a Detailed Questionnaire and responses to questions raised by both the IOC Programme Commission and the IOC Executive Board. The IOC Executive Board announced its recommendation of two sports following a meeting in Berlin, Germany on August 13.
“We strongly believed that golf deserved to be added to the Olympic Programme and felt that we presented a compelling case to the IOC,” Votaw said. “We have received unprecedented support from international golf organisations throughout this process, as well as from the world’s top-ranked men and women players, which was critical to our success. We also stressed the universal nature of golf, with 60 million people playing the sport in more than 120 countries.”
Based on player feedback, the IGF has proposed a format of 72-hole individual stroke play for both men and women. In case of a tie for either first, second or third place, a three-hole playoff is recommended to determine the medal winner(s).
The IGF also has recommended an Olympic field of 60 players for each of the men's and women's competition, using the Official World Golf Rankings as a method of determining eligibility. The top-15 world-ranked players would be eligible for the Olympics, regardless of the number of players from a given country. Beyond the top-15, players would be eligible based on the world rankings, with a maximum of two eligible players from each country that does not already have two or more players among the top-15.
Current world rankings from both the men’s and women’s games show that at least 30 countries would be represented in both the men’s and women’s competitions, from all continents, under this proposal.


Monday, December 29, 2008

R&A support ladies' golf - at both
professional and amateur levels

A cheque for £75,000 has been presented to the Ladies European Tour’s Executive Director, Alexandra Armas, in continuation of the support that The R&A has given to the LET since the early 1990s.
At selected events throughout 2009, The R&A will also provide referees.
In return, a starting place in one of the 2009 LET tournaments will be awarded to the women’s champion in The R&A Scholars Tournament, played on April 6 and 7.
The R&A has again shown its support for ladies amateur golf with the award of £135,000 to the Ladies Golf Union to cover both the next two Vagliano Trophies and the 2010 Curtis Cup.
Next year’s Vagliano Trophy will be held at the Hamburger Golf Club, Germany, while 2011’s will take place at Royal Porthcawl Golf Club in Wales.
The 2010 Curtis Cup will be hosted by the Essex Country Club in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts.
At this month’s Argentina Open, two of 2008’s female scholars have performed well while representing The R&A.
Sweden’s Christina Petersson and Scotland’s Laura Murray (Alford GC and Robert Gordon University), whose trip to South America was funded by The R&A, finished sixth and 12th respectively at the event.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

R&A increase number of girl
students in annual award of
golf scholarships

For 2009, The R&A has awarded more scholarships to female golfers than ever before.
Thirty-six women, up from 26 in 2008, will receive grants which help players at or near international standard continue their competitive golf whilst still attending university.
In order to qualify for a scholarship, women must possess a handicap of 3 or less while men must be +1 or better.
“The R&A seeks to help promising golfers who wish to combine academic qualifications with golf at elite standard,” explained R&A Golf Development Officer, Alison White, pictured right by Cal Carson Golf Agency.
“This year, we’ve had a record number of applications from talented young female players, which the percentage of scholarships awarded to women reflects. Many universities run excellent golf programmes and it is very encouraging to see more female students taking advantage of what is on offer.”
The grants, totalling over £80,000, have been awarded to 91 players from all over the world including students from Estonia, Fiji, Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
On April 6 and 7, R&A scholars will converge on St Andrews to compete in the annual R&A Bursars Tournament, now rebranded as The R&A Scholars Tournament. The event, which offers World Amateur Golf Ranking points, awards the winning male a place in the European Team for the Palmer Cup, the annual match contested by students from Europe and the USA, whilst the victorious female will be offered a place at a Ladies European Tour event.
The full list of 2009’s R&A Scholars is :
Surnames A to C
After the "-" the first name is that of the student's university; in brackets is the name of their home golf club)
Stefan Engell Andersen – Pretoria University (Muthiaga Golf Club, Kenya).
Lucie Andre – Toulouse University (Mionnay la Dombes Golf Club, France).
Morganne Bazin de Jessey – Paris Dauphine (Saint Cloud, France).
Adam Best – Teeside (Cleveland).
Paul Betty – Stirling (Hayston).
Sam Binning – Glasgow (Ranfurly Castle).

David Booth – Stirling (Rotherham).
Megan Briggs – Strathclyde (Kilmacolm).
Ciara Butler – NUI Maynooth (Newlands).
Marianna Causin – Venice (Golf Club Venezia, Italy);
Holly Calvert – Stirling (Lancaster).
Rachel Cassidy – Stirling (The Island);
Vikrant Chandra – South Pacific, Fiji (Suva Golf Club, Fiji).
Laura Chemarin – Toulouse (Bussy Guermantes, France).
Joshua Clarke – Abertay (Royal Montrose).
Louise Coffey – Ulster (Malone).
David Edward Corben – Exeter (Hindhead).
Jonathan Corke – St Andrews (Rowany).
Dave Corsby – Myerscough (Royal Lytham & St Annes).
Rosanna Crepiat – Toulouse (Aix Marseille, France).
Sarah Crowe – Limerick (Tipperary).
Ross Crowe – Northumbria (Newcastle United).
Sarah Cunningham – NUI Maynooth (Ennis)
D to K
Michael Daily – Stirling (Erskine).
Chloe Dexter – Birmingham (Beedles Lake).
Mark Robert Dickson – Edinburgh (The Alwoodley).
Chris Drumm – NUI Maynooth (Rosslare).
John Duff – Aberdeen (Newmachar).
Benjamin Enoch – Truro College (Truro).
Michael Evans – Bournemouth (Dudsbury).
Emma Fairnie – Edinburgh (Dunbar).
Stephanie Farrar – Stirling (Sandiway).
Kevin Garwood – Bournemouth (Surrey National).
Carwyn Hammond – Northumbria (Pontardawe).
Joanne Hodge – Buckinghamshire New (Knowle).
Susan Jackson – Edinburgh (Ladybank).
Sian James – Birmingham (Bristol & Clifton).
Shain Spencer Johnson – Pretoria (Harare, Zimbabwe).
Mhairi Claire Johnstone – Aberdeen (Northern Golf Club).
Vincent Kabaso – Elmwood College (Elmwood).
Gerard Kelly – UCD (County Louth).
Niamh Kitching – Limerick (Claremorris).
Adam Kritikos – Myerscough (Corfu, Corfu)
M to R
Kelsey Macdonald – Stirling (Nairn Dunbar).

Jamie Michael Mackay – Kilmarnock College (Kilmarnock, Barassie).
Alexander Main – Edinburgh (Thornton).
Craig Martin – NUI Maynooth (Kilkenny).
Anne McCormack – Athlone Institute of Technology (Roscommon).
Kelan McDonagh – NUI Maynooth (Athlone).
Tommy McGowan – NUI Maynooth (Strandhill).
Naoimh McMahon – Limerick (Shannon).
Danielle McVeigh – NUI Maynooth (Royal County Down).
Louise Mernagh – NUI Maynooth (Woodenbridge).
Gillian Monteith – Strathclyde (Portpatrick Dunskey).
Fraser Moore – Stirling (Glenbervie).
Leonardo Motta – Milan (Biella Betulle, Italy).
Alan Murdoch – Stirling (Stranraer).
Aedin Murphy – NUI Maynooth (Carlow).
Laura Murray – Robert Gordon University (Alford Golf Club).
Torel Beider – Myerscough (Estonia, Estonia).
Lucy Kathryn Padley – Exeter (Exeter).
Andrew William Palmer – Central Lancashire (Chorley).
James Patterson – Queens (Knock).
Myles Francis Pearson – Loughborough (Little Aston).
Christina Petersson – Northumbria (Gaule, Sweden).
Egert Pôldma – Myerscough (Estonia, Estonia).
Alessandra do Poli de Luigi – Milan (Monticello, Italy).
Pamela Pretswell – Glasgow (Bothwell Castle).
Matthew Pythian – Glamorgan (Rhondda).
Niccolo Quintarelli – Venice (Della Montecchia, Italy).
Bobby Rushford – Stirling (Grangemouth).
S to Y
Andrew Shakespear – Bournemouth (Five Lakes).
Keith Shanks – Aberdeen (Birck Boilermaker, Indiana, USA).
Lucy Simpson – NUI Maynooth (Massereene).
Andrew Fenwick Smedley – Birmingham (Notts).
James Smedley – Sheffield Hallam (Hallowes).
Daniel Iain Sommerville – Dundee (St Andrews).
Gordon Stevenson – St Andrews (Whitecraigs).
Scott Stewart-Cation – Elmwood College (Balbirnie).

Colin Thomson – Stirling (East Renfrewshire).
Darren Timms – Stirling (Mid Kent).
Jane Turner – Robert Gordon University (Craigielaw Golf Club).
Andrew Wallace – Stirling (Glenbervie).
Brendan Walton – NUI Maynooth (The Island).
Lloyd Walton – Bournemouth (Dorset).
Jonathan Watt – Stirling (Brockenhurst Manor).
James White – Stirling (Lundin).
Lucy Williams – Birmingham (Mid Herts).
Rebecca Jane Wilson – Stirling (Monifieth).
Ian Andrew Winstanley – Leeds (Formby).
Gordon Yates – Stirling (Hilton Park)


Monday, November 17, 2008

R&A gives £25,000 back to Paul
Lawrie Junior Foundation in NE

The R&A has increased its financial backing of the Paul Lawrie Foundation in response to the continued success of the programme. The foundation, which supports junior golf in the north-east of Scotland, has been awarded £25,000 to cover both 2008 and 2009.
Lawrie, a native Aberdonian, is dedicated to developing junior golf and was pleased to accept the grant. “I’m extremely grateful for the increased support of this programme,” said Lawrie, “It’s a big boost knowing that The R&A are as dedicated as I am to the development of the junior game in Scotland.”
The scheme focuses on the enjoyment that playing the game brings and uses fun games and competitions throughout the year to encourage the participants’ development. The largest of the competitions, the Paul Lawrie Flag Finals and U16/U18 Open, was held at Deeside Golf Club in September with 160 youngsters aged between nine and eighteen competing.

The 1999 Open Champion aims to encourage the youngsters to develop a work ethic that will improve both their golf and their academic achievement.

“I would never have won The Open at Carnoustie without putting in countless hours of practice,” Lawrie said, “and I hope that the Foundation will instil in these juniors a similar level of commitment in all aspects of their lives.”

The R&A also supports junior golf programmes in Carnoustie and St Andrews, which, like the Paul Lawrie Foundation, are aimed at encouraging local children to take up the game. Director of Golf Development at The R&A, Duncan Weir, believes that it is important to provide golfing opportunities to children in Scotland.

“Supporting junior golf here in Scotland, where we are based, is a key aspect of The R&A’s work,” said Weir, “and we’re glad to be able to provide funding for schemes that are increasing participation and enjoyment in the junior game.”