Rio Olympics 2016, Golf: SSP Chawrasia sizzles, Anirban Lahiri struggles on day 1
Marcus Fraser stole the show as golf made a return to the Summer Olympics after a 112 year hiatus. The 38 year Australian is not one of golf’s household names, but put in a performance that will be remembered for a long, long time.
He posted 9 birdies and 1 bogey in his total of -8 under par 63 at the Par 71 Olympic Golf Course in Barra Da Tijuca. Earlier in the day, Canadian Graham DeLaet teed off along with Brazilian Adilson Da Silva and set the pace early, exchanging the lead with Marcus Fraser on a number of occasions before ending the day in second place at -5 under par.
Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, who won the 2016 Open Championship always seemed like a good bet coming into Rio and he showed why here. He remained resolute throughout the day, ending with a birdie on the 18th to finish tied for 2nd at -5 under par.
There were a train of golfers who shared third place, ending the day at -4 under par including Belgium’s Thomas Pieters, Gregory Bourdy of France, Alex Cejka of Germany, Justin Rose of Great Britain and Rafael Bello-Cabrera.
The United States of America’s golfers struggled on day. Barring Matt Kuchar, who ended the day at -2 under par, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and most notably, Rickie Fowler had days to forget.
It was a rollercoaster day for India’s ace Anirban Lahiri. Paired with American Bubba Watson and Germany’s Martin Kaymer, Lahiri struggled with 5 birdies in his first 12 holes before pulling it back towards the end with birdies on the 15th and 18th to end the day +3 over par at 50th.
SSP Chawrasia teed off much later in the day but started in much better vein than his compatriot, with birdies on the 2nd and 5th holes. He would go on to post two more birdies, but also recorded 4 bogeys to end at even-par and lie 27th in the leaderboard.