International Golf Federation positive over Rio despite high-profile withdrawals

Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen have opted not to compete in this year's Rio Games, but the International Golf Federation remains optimistic over the sport's return to the Olympic programme.

After an absence of more than a century, golf will be part of the Olympics in Brazil, with the likes of Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy among those set to take part.

However, opinion has been split regarding the importance of the Games to a sport in which four major championships are firmly established as the most significant individual prizes.

And both Scott and Oosthuizen - major winners ranked inside the world's top 12 - have confirmed this week that they will not participate in Rio, the duo following the lead of former world number one Vijay Singh.

On Thursday, the president of the International Golf Federation, Peter Dawson, said in a statement: "The IGF understands the challenges players face in terms of scheduling this summer and it is regrettable to see a few leading players withdraw from this year's Games.

"The Olympics is the world's greatest celebration of sport and it is exciting and appropriate that golf features in its programme again.

"Real history will be made at this year's Olympic competitions and it is our belief that the unique experience of competing will live forever with athletes that take part."

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