After 112 years, Olympic golf tournament gets underway

Brazilian Adilson da Silva, who knew since Monday he had the honor of hitting the first tee shot of the men’s golf tournament at the Olympic Golf Course, found the right side of the fairway Thursday to give the event a proper start.

An overall view of the first tee as Adilson Da Silva of Brazil hits his tee shot hits his tee shot during the first round of men's golf in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Olympic Golf Course.(Photo: Jason Getz, USA TODAY Sports)

Bright sunshine greeted golf’s return to the Olympics after 112 years. So did an accurate tee shot.

Brazilian Adilson da Silva, who knew since Monday he had the honor of hitting the first tee shot of the men’s golf tournament at the Olympic Golf Course, found the right side of the fairway Thursday to give the event a proper start.

Thus ended years of difficulty and recent months of controversy ahead of golf’s return for the first time since George Lyon of Canada won the gold medal in the 1904 Summer Games in St. Louis.


The field of 60 is absent the world’s top four golfers but remains stout with the likes of Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer and the U.S. foursome of Patrick Reed, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar. Top players pulled out ahead of the game, citing concerns from travel, security, crime, the format and the Zika virus. None of the mattered when da Silva, the lone Brazilian in the field, sent his drive soaring as a couple hundred patrons and media looked on.

“It’s the end of a long journey,” International Golf Federation president Peter Dawson said. “We’re beginning a new one.”

Gulf in Olympics Rio 2016