Rio Olympics

Padraig Harrington laps it up in Rio

 Harrington shot a one-under 70 in the opening round
Picture by PA
Phil Casey in Rio

Britain’s Justin Rose ensured golf returned to the Olympics in spectacular fashion with a hole-in-one on the first day of competition in Rio.

Rose holed out from 191 yards on the fourth to augment a tremendously positive reintroduction to the Games after an absence of 112 years.

Brazil’s Adilson da Silva had struck the first shot since 1904 in front of a sparse crowd at 0730 local time (1130BST), but the number of spectators quickly swelled to surprising levels.

“The atmosphere was great,” said Ireland’s Padraig Harrington (left) after an opening round of 70 left him seven shots behind clubhouse leader Marcus Fraser, who carded nine birdies and a bogey in his 63.

“There were little groups of people supporting their own country and I think it’s been a great start for golf.

“I was as nervous on the first tee as I was teeing off in my first major or playing at St Andrews or Augusta. I said to my playing partners when we finished – now we are Olympians and no-one can take that away from us.

“Most weeks there are 156 players and only one winner. This week there are 60 players and we are all winners.”

Seamus Power finished one shot behind Harrington on level par 71.

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Rio Olympics