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Trending: Celebrating golf's Olympic return

george_lyon_300.jpgThe news that Gil Hanse was selected to design the golf course for the 2016 Olympic games was met with excitement from most in the golf world--the notable exceptions being the seven other designers who lost out on the opportunity to lead the project. But aside from raising the prospects of a great new course for the Rio Games, it is another boost of excitement for the return of competitive golf in the Olympics after a 112-year hiatus. (Canadian George Lyon, above, was the last Olympic gold medal winner in golf at the 1904 St. Louis games. AP Photo.)

"I give the Olympic Committee a lot of credit," Phil Mickelson said at the Cadillac Championship in Florida. "Because it would have been easier to go with a big name and instead, they went with the best. I thought that was pretty cool."

I couldn't agree more with Phil. Despite the relatively obscure sports we get to witness every four years (race walking? rhythmic gymnastics?), the Olympics bring out a special sense of competition, sportsmanship, and national pride unlike any other event--even if you'll never remember who won the gold medal for synchronized swimming. With that in mind, here are a few teasers to pump you up even further. First, let's allow the PGA and tour professionals to tell us why it's a special occasion, then we'll sink into nostalgia with some Olympic highlights as we prep for the London Games later this year. Only four more years 'til Rio.

-- Derek Evers

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