By Thomas Dodd
- England’s Justin Rose hits hole in one on first day of Olympic Golf
- Australia’s Marcus Fraser leads by three shots after eight under par 63
- Golf returns to Games for first time in 112 years in Rio
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – British golfer Justin Rose recorded the first hole in one in Olympic history on the first day of play in Rio.
Fraser carded nine birdies and a bogey in an opening round of 63 to give him a three shot lead over Canada’s Graham DeLaet.
Open Champion Henrik Stenson – the highest ranked player in the field following the withdrawal of several high profile names from the event – matched de Laet’s effort with a round of five under 66.
Team GBs other representative in Rio Danny Willett started strongly but ultimately faded to shoot an even par round of 71.
The four Americans in the field struggled to make an impact on the leaderboard with Matt Kuchar the best placed from the states on two under after 18 holes.
Patrick Reed was the best of the rest on one over, one shot better than Bubba Watson and three better than Rickie Fowler, who laboured to a four over par round of 75, placing him tied 56th in the 60-man competition.
Ireland three-time major winner Padraig Harrington gave himself plenty of birdie looks, but could only sign for a one under 70 while compatriot Seamus Power carded a very respectable 71 to lie at even par.
Golf returned to the Olympics after a 112-year absence, but there was still a buzz around the specially designed Rio golf course as home hero Adilson da Silva struck the momentous opening tee shot on Wednesday morning.
And those who did turn out were rewarded with the first Ace in Olympic history as Rose’s iron shot towered high onto the two-tier green, bounced once and rolled into the cup.
Olympic Men’s Golf, Day 1 Leaderboard
-8 Marcus Fraser (Australia)
-5 Graham de Laet (Canada), Henrik Stenson (Sweden)
-4 Gregory Bourdy (France), Thomas Pieters (Belgium), Alex Cejka (Germany), Rafa Cabrera Bello (Spain), Justin Rose (Great Britain)
-3 Byeong Hun An (South Korea), Nicolas Colsaerts (Belgium)
-1 Padraig Harrington (Ireland)
E Seamus Power (Ireland), Danny Willett (Great Britain)
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