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RIO DE JANEIRO – The first Olympic golf shot in 112 years will be hit by the lone Brazilian in the men's field.
The International Golf Federation tapped into what few Olympic roots it has Monday by selecting Adilson da Silva to be the first to tee off Thursday when golf returns to the Olympic program for the first time since 1904.
Brazil was guaranteed at least one player as the host nation, though da Silva qualified on his own through the world ranking.
The IGF did not stop there.
Joining da Silva in the opening threesome will be Graham DeLaet of Canada, which IGF President Peter Dawson referred to as the defending champion at the Olympics. George Lyon of Canada won the gold medal at the St. Louis Games in 1904 against a field of 74 Americans and three Canadians.
The other player is Byeong Hun An of South Korea, who comes from an Olympic heritage. His mother, who is Chinese, and father each won medals in table tennis at the Seoul Games in 1988.
Dawson took personal pride in the second group off, which features Padraig Harrington of Ireland and Matteo Manassero of Italy.
They went to Copenhagen in 2009, along with Suzann Pettersen of Norway and Michelle Wie of the United States, when golf made its final presentation with hopes of getting back into the Olympics.
"I don't think I'll ever forget Matteo presenting to a group of formidable IOC members in English — not his first language — at the tender age of 16," Dawson said.
Golf saved its biggest stars for later in the draw.
Sergio Garcia of Spain is playing with Patrick Reed of the United States and Emiliano Grillo of Argentina. Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson of the United States and double major winner Martin Kaymer of Germany will play with Anirban Lahiri of India. At the bottom of Thursday's draw is a threesome of American Rickie Fowler, Britain's Justin Rose and Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela.
Who's not in Rio remained part of the conversation, particularly the top four players in the world ranking, all of whom have won majors in the last three years — Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. The 60-man field features only four of the top 10 in the world.
"It's certainly not helpful," Dawson said. "But I think now we're looking forward. We're concentrating on those players who are here. They will always be Olympians, and whoever wins the gold medal and the silver and bronze will have something to carry with them the rest of their lives. I am very confident that golf's players over the coming Olympic games will all come and play."