Olympics: Golf under way at Games after 112-year absence as home player tees off first

Brazil's Adilson Jose Da Silva hits the first Olympic golf stroke in 112 years in the men's individual stroke play at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Aug 11, 2016.
Brazil's Adilson Jose Da Silva hits the first Olympic golf stroke in 112 years in the men's individual stroke play at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Aug 11, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Brazilian professional Adilson da Silva hit the first Olympic golf stroke in 112 years on Wednesday in Rio, smacking the ball off the opening tee and into the first fairway.

The swing completed years of work to return the sport to the Olympic line-up, a place it had not enjoyed since Canada's George Lyon won the 1904 St Louis title.

World No. 288 da Silva, 44, shook hands with first-group playing partners Graham DeLaet of Canada and An Byeong Hun of South Korea before being left alone on the tee. After a couple of practice swings, he walked up and fired his historic shot.

A field of 60 will compete over 72 holes of strokeplay for a gold medal and berths in all four 2017 Major championships, with the final round on Sunday over the 6,245-yard, par-71 layout designed by Gil Hanse alongside a nature park.

Burrowing owls, capybaras - the world's largest rodents - alligator-like caimans and even a nine-foot crocodile can be found along the course, although they typically shy away from players.

The field includes six Major winners - current British Open champion Henrik Stenson of Sweden, Ireland's Padraig Harrington, England's Justin Rose and reigning Masters champion Danny Willett, two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson of the United States and Germany's Martin Kaymer.