GENEVA, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Ten-time major winner Annika Sorenstam has been elected the new President of the International Golf Federation (IGF) after long-standing head Peter Dawson stepped down.
The 50-year-old Swede is set to take over the reins on January 1, with Dawson stepping down after 10 years in charge.
Dawson helped put golf back on the Olympic program as the sport featured at Rio 2016, but the 70-year-old notified the IGF Board he would not seek re-election when his two-year term expired at the end of the year.
"It has been a great pleasure and privilege to serve as IGF President," Dawson said. "Golf's reinstatement to the Olympic program was a landmark for our sport and it was a true thrill to witness our return to Rio 2016. Our Olympic status has been a strong catalyst for increasing cooperation and coordination between the major organizations in golf and has significantly strengthened the bonds between the IGF and our National Federations.
"My thanks go to so many people in golf and in the Olympic family for their support over the past 10 years," he added. "Their help and goodwill have been invaluable. I wish my successor, Annika Sorenstam, every success. The IGF could not be in better hands."
Ty Votaw, an executive on the Professional Golf Association Tour, will serve another term as vice-president, the IGF Board confirmed.
Originally scheduled for the Olympic House in Lausanne but moved online due to the continued impact of COVID-19, the IGF Board was addressed by International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach on the status of the Olympic movement and then followed by IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell, who provided updates and answered questions regarding preparations for Tokyo.
The Board expressed support and a shared commitment to deliver the golf competition with safety for the athletes and all involved a top priority.
During her career, Sorenstam claimed 72 Ladies Professional Golf Association titles, including 10 majors. She retired from the sport in 2008.