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Rio course designer worried about looming deadlines

Mar 11, 2013, 5:32 PM EDT

David Cannon/Getty Images Getty Images

Six months after designer Gil Hanse was set to break ground on the new Olympics golf course for the Rio Games, not a mound of dirt has been moved nor a blade of grass planted. Now he feels time may be running short to get it all done.

“We’re right up against the deadline,” Hanse, more annoyed by the day, told the Golf Channel. “We’ve lost six months of my undivided attention.”

The Brazilian courts are still trying to figure out who even owns the land the course will sit on after construction was blocked in October by entrepreneur Pasquale Mauro. He claims rights to the property, apparently with documentation.

After however long that takes to get settled, Hanse – who admitted to being naive about how easily it would be to push the dispute through court with the Olympics looming – will still need to finalize permits, clear the land, shape the dirt, grow the grass, and host test events on his links style course.

And while the International Golf Federation was pretty confident this would all move quickly when the dispute was first raised last year, Executive Director Anthony Scanlon is starting to change his tune.

“There is now very little time available to construct and condition a championship standard golf course.” he told AroundtheRings.com last month. “The IOC is aware of our concerns and the IGF is hopeful that the upcoming IOC Coordination Commission visit to Rio de Janeiro will address these.”