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The Olympics could use a mulligan on golf

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Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walks off the ninth green after finishing the continuation of the second round of the U.S. Open on June 18, 2016.

On a Friday in October 2009, a delegation of golf executives and players arrived at the Copenhagen Marriott hotel to make one last pitch to members of the International Olympic Committee.

Already, golf luminaries from Tiger Woods to Jack Nicklaus had sent video testimonials expressing their support for the sport’s return to the Summer Games. Now, on the day the IOC would vote on golf’s fate, two prominent professionals—Padraig Harrington of Ireland and American Michelle Wie—flew in to make personal appeals.

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