Rio Olympics: Top golfer thought Olympics was a team event

American golfer Matt Kuchar. Photo / AP
American golfer Matt Kuchar. Photo / AP

One of the biggest names at the Olympics golf event has admitted he has no idea how the format works just a week out from the tournament.

American Matt Kuchar admitted in a press conference ahead of the Travelers Championship tournament in Connecticut that he thought the Olympics, which starts on Thursday August 11 (NZT), was a team event where scores would be combined.

"Now, I may be miss-informed or just don't know. You may have to help me. Is there no team format at all?" Kuchar asked the media. "When they first talked about it, if there were four Americans it was the two highest ranked and they were going to combine the scores for a team event."

Golf returns to the Olympics after a last being held in 1904 but you'd expect the world's 20th ranked player, who has a good chance to medal, would know the format.

"There is no combined? No team event whatsoever?" Kuchar continued.

"Just an individual. We did the same thing at World Cup: 72 hole stroke play. I played with Kevin Streelman. We never played together but we did represent the United States in a team format.

"That was my initial impression of what was happening with the Olympics, but I'm incorrect on that."

Yes he is. The Olympics format will be played under the same format Kuchar competes in most weeks on the PGA Tour. It's a 72-hole individual stroke play tournament but it won't have a cut, meaning every player will take part in four rounds.

To decide the each medal, if there are ties for the top three places, three-hole playoffs will be needed to determine who gets gold, silver and bronze.

It's another blow for the golf tournament in Rio which has struggled to attract the biggest names in the game. The four top ranked players in the world - Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy have all withdrawn from the Olympics with various reasons including the Zika virus and the fact that golf shouldn't be at the Olympics.

Kiwis Danny Lee and Ryan Fox will compete in the men's tournament while world number one Lydia Ko is a medal prospect in the women's tournament.

- NZ Herald

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