What to expect from Olympic golf - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

What to expect from Olympic golf

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KENNEWICK, WA.-- For the first time in over a century, golf is back in the Olympics! Here's a rundown of what you can expect. 

The men begin play on August 11, and the women on August 17. The format will be the same as a standard PGA Tour or LPGA Tour event- four days with the golfers playing 18 holes per day. that's 72 holes over all, and of course, the low grossing scores will take home medals. 

On the men's side, the United States will be represented by Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, and Matt Kuchar. They'll face international competitors like the Iceman Swede, Henrik Stenson (who just notched his first major victory a few weeks ago at The Open Championship), Sergio Garcia (Spain), and Justin Rose (Great Britain). 

A subject of controversy: a number standout golfers will also be missing from the competition, most notably Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, and Rory McIlroy- the top four players in the world. Those four, as well as 17 other players, withdrew their names from Olympic consideration, siting Zika Virus and a tightly packed PGA Tour schedule as their main concerns. 

On the women's side, all the major players will be present. Lexi Thompson, Stacy Lewis, and Gerina Piller will represent team USA, but they'll have plenty of competition. World no. 1 and teenage superstar Lydia Ko (New Zealand) is an easy podium pick, as well as Inbee Park (South Korea) who is already well on her way to the Hall of Fame. 

All of the players will take on Rio's Olympic Golf Course, designed by Gil Hanse, which will play about 7,128 yards for the men, and 6,245 for the women. 

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