Historic Thursday tee-off for Green and Chia

Malaysia’s Gavin Green and Danny Chia will be part of history when they tee-off this Thursday morning in the Olympic men’s golf competition at the Reserva de Marapendi course in Rio de Janeiro.

Photo by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour

Gavin Green – Photo by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour

Danny Chia - Photo by Toha Dol

Danny Chia – Photo by Toha Dol/ParGolf

Golf returns to the Olympic fold after more than 110 years and will see a field of 60 men and 60 women vying for medals in consecutive weeks.

Green will start at 7.52am (6.52pm Malaysian time) with Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Thomas Pieters of Belgium, while Chia follows three groups later at 8.25am (7.25pm Malaysian time) with Chile’s Felipe Aguilar and Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen.

Brazilian Adilson da Silva hits the opening tee shot at 7.30am and he will be joined in the first group by Canada’s Graham DeLaet, whose countryman George Lyon won the last Olympic gold medal in 1904. Korea’s Byeong Hun An, the son of two Olympic table tennis medalists at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, will complete the group.

Three-time Major champion Padraig Harrington from Ireland and Italy’s Matteo Manassero, both of whom formed part of the International Golf Federation’s delegation that presented golf’s case for inclusion in the Games at the 2009 IOC Session in Copenhagen, will play together in the second group out at 7.41am.  They will be joined by New Zealand’s Danny Lee.

Henrik Stenson - Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Henrik Stenson – Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Other notable tee times include 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett from Great Britain who will play with American Matt Kuchar and China’s Haotong Li at 9.03am.  Two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson will tee off at 9.14am in the same group as former US Open champion Martin Kaymer from Germany and India’s Anirban Lahiri.  Siddikur Rahman, who carried Bangladesh’s flag during the opening ceremony, will begin his first round at 10.14am with the Netherlands’ Joost Luiten and Ricardo Melo Gouveia from Portugal.

At 10.58am, World No 7 Rickie Fowler from the USA, former US Open champion Justin Rose from Great Britain, and last month’s winner of the Canadian Open, Jhonattan Vegas, will begin their bid for Olympic gold.  British Open champion Henrik Stenson will play alongside Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee and Rafa Cabrera Bello in Thursday’s final group at 11.09am.

The groupings will be maintained for Friday’s second round with Green starting at 9.47am and Chia at 10.25am.

Malaysia is represented in next week’s women’s competition by Kelly Tan and Michelle Koh.

For the full draw, click here.

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