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Nicklaus, Norman among Olympic golf course bidders

Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman are among the candidates to design the golf course which will be used for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

The organizing committee announced eight finalists for the international competition to design the course which will be built at the Barra da Tijuca neighbourhood, which will also be home to most of the other Olympic venues.

Nicklaus has teamed up with another former golfing great, Annika Sorenstam while Norman has joined forces with another former LPGA great, Lorena Ochoa. The other finalists include Gary Player, Gil Hanse of Hanse Golf Design, Martin Hawtree of Hawtree Ltd., Tom Doak's Renassance Golf Design, Robert Trent Jones II and Peter Thomson / Michael Perrett of Thomson-Perret Golf Course Architects.

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Noticeably absent from the list is Nick Faldo, Tom Fazio and Arnold Palmer, although the committee did not previously reveal who had or had not submitted a bid so its hard to tell if they were actually in the final running.

The Elite Eight will spend the next several weeks meeting and making presentations with a final decision on a winner expected in January 2012.

The Rio committee has said the course will have to leave a legacy to the city and become an important tool for youth transformation through sport, as well as be capable of hosting tests events and competitions after the games.

The course winner will be paid US$300,000 for the design.

Golf made its debut at the second modern Olympics in Paris in 1900, but was dropped after the 1904 games in St. Louis. The sport was reinstated by an International Olympic Committee vote in 2009.

Canada is the defending gold medallist.

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