The golf test event for the 2016 Olympic Games was played in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday, with nine Brazilian players taking part in an exhibition on the newly-designed course.
Five male and four female golfers took part in the Aquece Rio Golf Challenge in the Barra di Tijuca area of the country’s capital. The course, designed by Gil Hanse especially for the Games, will host two fields of 60 men and women in six months’ time.
One of Brazil’s leading male players, Alexandre Rocha, played the first shot on the course and was in action alongside the country’s leading female player, Miriam Nagl. The latter won the stroke play event and praised the course following her first 18 holes.
“The course conditions are very good, the greens are perfect,” she said. “To be able to tell my daughter that I played in the Olympic Games is an extra motivation.”
The top 15 ranked players will qualify for the Games, but only a maximum of four players from any country will qualify. There are currently 32 European Tour members who would qualify for the event, including three 2016 winners, Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen and Danny Willett.
International Golf Federation executive director Antony Scanlon said: “Some things will be worked on to ensure we have a fantastic Games in August, but the level that we hoped to achieve today was reached.
“We just need to attend to the details that will make the difference between a good tournament and a great tournament.”
Par for the course will be 71, with the men’s event stretching over 6522m and the women’s over 5944m, according to the International Golf Federation. The course is located 9km from the Olympic Village.