Finchem has eye on Asia and South America for 2015 Presidents Cup

tim finchem
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PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem acknowledges the growth of golf in Asia, but admits that playing a near-term Presidents Cup in Brazil might be a better way to take advantage of golf's return to the Olympics.
By
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Tuesday, November 08, 2011 | 7:26 p.m.

The only two continents where the Presidents Cup has not been played are Asia and South America, which is likely to change when the next one goes overseas in 2015. And while Asia appears to have more appeal, South America might be more critical.

A record four Asian players are on this year’s International team -- K.J. Choi, Y.E. Yang, K.T. Kim and Ryo Ishikawa -- and PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said Asia is “becoming a bigger part of what the Presidents Cup is all about.”

“We are looking hard at Asia,” he said.

But when pressed about which Asian country might be best suited to host the Presidents Cup, Finchem had his eyes on another event -- the Olympics in Brazil in 2016.

“When you look at the Olympic date sitting there in ’16, and everybody is gearing toward that, you’ve sort of got to draw some conclusions as to where we’ll be in 2015,” he said.

Golf’s return to the Olympics is not guaranteed to be for long. The sport gets only one chance to shine before the next International Olympic Committee vote on whether to keep golf in the games, so it’s important that it is received well in Brazil.

There had been some discussion about taking a World Golf Championship to South America ahead of the Olympics, such as the Cadillac Championship at Doral.

“We’ve discussed that a little bit as a possibility,” Finchem said. “There are some other things we could do down there as well. We were hopeful we’ll see some daylight here in terms of when the golf course will be ready so we know we’ll have a place to play, and by ’15. Once we know that’s going to happen, then we can start to work on real options.”

Finchem said if the golf course -- the architect is to be chosen in late December -- is not ready before 2016, then the first event would be the Olympics. Ideally, it could be ready in time for another event.

“We need it ready by ’15, which means it needs to get going,” he said.