Rio Games course 'virtually complete', says Votaw

Sat Feb 21, 2015 5:43pm EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

PACIFIC PALISADES, California (Reuters) - Though work on the Olympic golf course for the 2016 Rio Games lagged well behind schedule, construction is now "virtually complete", according to International Golf Federation vice-president Ty Votaw.

The Venue Reserva de Marapendi layout, controversially built in an environmental reserve, will benefit from two growing seasons between now and the Olympics, Votaw said, but he was unable to specify when a planned test event could take place.

"Progress of the golf course is continuing, and the construction aspect of it is virtually complete," Votaw told Reuters by telephone during this week's PGA Tour event, the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club.

"There are a few items that need to be completed, some infrastructure things, but as far as the golf course itself and the design elements and the grassing of the golf course, that is virtually done.

"We are now in a full-lock, grow-in maintenance operation. We are doing everything that we can to maximize the benefits of having two growing seasons because it's summer down there now and we will have two growing seasons before the 2016 Games."

Golf will make its first appearance at the Olympics since 1904 after being voted back in, but the Venue Reserva de Marapendi course has been snagged with problems over the past two years.

LEGAL WRANGLING   Continued...

The President of the Brazilian Olympic Committee and head of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Carlos Nuzman attends a news conference in Rio de Janeiro February 12, 2015. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares