August 06, 2016: The spectacular opening ceremony at the Maracana Stadium set the tone for another edition of the Olympic Games. Only it isn’t any other for golf, which is returning to the Olympics for the first time since 1904. While there have been several high profile withdrawals, Indians Anirban Lahiri, SSP Chawrasia and Aditi Ashok have all been unequivocal in their desire to compete in Rio.
Anirban underlined the excitement of being at the Olympics with a lovely tweet showing the picture of his bag for the games. He has been clearly excited in the lead up to the games, as he looked ahead to another opportunity to play for the country.
Chawrasia has called this a dream come true, one of the biggest events of his career. The unassuming Kolkata golfer will look to make a positive impression in Rio at the Reserva de Marapendi in Barra da Tijuca.
Aditi is just 18 and has several years ahead of her. The teenager has been on a roll for the past year, surging into the limelight by the force of her game. A full card on the Ladies European Tour and now the Olympics make for a sensational rookie season for the golfer from Bengaluru.
The Indians seem an inspired lot as they prepare for the games. The men will tee off on 11th August, while Aditi will have to wait till the 17th to get her campaign going.
The course is new to all the golfers, since it has been developed especially for the Olympics. That and the differing levels of excitement for the Olympics level the playing field and open an opportunity for our golfers to hunt for metal.
The three golfers have also tested themselves adequately in the lead up to the games. Aditi qualified to the British Open with a massive 63 in the qualifying round, topping the charts.
Anirban has been navigating across the seas – his last two tournaments have been the Open Championship in Scotland and the PGA Championship in Baltusrol.
Chawrasia is coming off four battling rounds in the King’s Cup against some of Asia’s best golfers. The fact that they have nearly a week to prepare themselves should also help the golfers in their quest for a medal from Rio 2016.