Feb 27th, 2016
Olympic test event for Brazilians only
Best player will be World No 482!
Words: John Dean Photography: Getty Images
The test event scheduled for Friday March 8th will be closed to the public, and will only feature nine Brazilian players. The event will only feature five men and four women professionals in a stroke play format.
The top-ranked player among those invited is Alexandre Rocha, who is No. 588. There are two other Brazilians ahead of him in the world rankings - Adilson da Silva plays on the European Tour and Lucas Lee on the PGA Tour.
The best Brazilian female is Miriam Nagl at No. 482.
The PGA Tour had tried to arrange for some of the world's best to play in the exhibition and could not find anyone to go to Rio because of the schedule, which really should not have come as any surprise to anyone.
Designed by American golf architect Gil Hanse, the course covers 970,000 square meters. There will be room for 15,000 fans. A delegation from the International Golf Federation (IGF) will be present to observe, Rio 2016 said in a statement.
Claudia Guedes, the Rio 2016 sport manager for golf, said that the main tests are for the course itself and the results system.
"It's a tough course, there is quite a lot of wind, so it will bring the best out of the players," Guedes said.
We have real concerns about the return of golf to The Olympics. We don’t like the format – a standard 4-day stroke play tournament – and would also question the need to build a brand new course in a country where golf is very much in its infancy and the preserve of a rich elite.
Gavea Golf & Country Club is just down the road, and is already recognised as being one of the finest courses in Rio, and indeed, Brazil. Why could they not have played it there? Are we missing anything? Let us know. We think this could become another typical Olympic White Elephant.