The countrys three leading golfers have been confirmed in the New Zealand Olympic Team for Rio today. The announcement made today by the New Zealand Olympic Committee and New Zealand Golf brings the total team size to 198 athletes.

Lydia Ko, Danny Lee and Ryan Fox have been selected to represent the country as golf returns to the Olympics for the first time since St Loui, Missouri, 1904.

There were no selection concerns with world number one Lydia Ko and world number 40 Danny Lee, however there was a nervous wait for Ryan Fox as he becomes the third member the Fox family to represent New Zealand.

"Obviously its a pinnacle sporting event and I can say Im the third generation of my family to represent New Zealand in three different sports, so its a pretty cool thing to be able to do," said Fox.

Fox won a tight battle with Michael Hendry for the second spot after putting together two top five finishes on the European Challenge Tour at just the right time.

Ko has made it very clear that the Olympics is her pinnacle event of 2016. To medal at Rio would mean so much to her as she compares this achievement to a Major Championship. With her consistency this dream is very much a possibility.

"Im super excited to represent New Zealand, to be able to see the village, the food court and just everything its going to be so cool!" said Ko.

She is one of the countries great medal hopes and will lead the golfing charge for gold.

Lee has been climbing the world rankings over the past two years which put him in a great position leading into Olympic qualification. Lee is ranked 12th in the Olympic field and has a great chance to step foot on the podium.

"Its going to be awesome and Im sure I will make everyone proud and its going to be a honour to represent my country".

New Zealand Olympic Committee Chief Executive Kereyn Smith was thrilled to welcome the athletes to the team and noted huge potential for strong performances next month.

"It's hugely exciting for Danny, Ryan and Lydia to be heading to the Rio Olympic Games. Not since 1904 has golf appeared on the Olympic programme and for New Zealand to have these three top athletes representing us is outstanding," said Smith.

"We wish these players all the very best in their final weeks of preparation and look forward to cheering them on in Rio."

New Zealand Golf Chief Executive Dean Murphy joined Smith in congratulating the athletes.

"This is a truly proud moment for New Zealand Golf and we believe these three athletes have a great chance in Rio and will represent the country with pride," said Murphy.

"It has been an exciting few years for golf in this country and the Rio Olympics will be a special moment for the players and golf fans alike. We wish Lydia, Danny and Ryan the best of luck in Rio."

At this time New Zealand Golf would like to acknowledge the special effort of Cathryn Bristow to qualify for the Olympic Games. While Bristow was nominated for selection by New Zealand Golf, she was not selected for the New Zealand team by the NZOC based on not being able to demonstrate the ability to finish inside the top 16 in Rio.

The men will tee off in their return to the Olympics on August 11 with the women following not long after on the 17th.

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Golf NZ