RIO DE JANEIRO – And just like that, with a smooth 250-yard drive down the center of the fairway from Brazilian Adilson da Silva, golf returned to the Olympics Thursday after a 112-year hiatus.
The smallish, hometown crowd gathered on the first tee and greeted their man with a smattering of applause as he approached the first tee just before his 7:30 local tee time with playing partners Graham DaLaet (Canada) and Ben An (Korea).
Ten minutes later, da Silva made par on the opening par-5 hole at the Olympic Golf Course.
“Wow,” da Silva said on Tuesday after a practice round. “I think it’s going to sink in later. I’m very happy and honored. Sometimes I think, ‘How can I deserve all this?’
“I hope I will be a bit sleepy so I won’t feel the pressure. It’s going to be quite exciting and I’m just going to try to concentrate on the shot. It will be hard, but I’m going to try to do it.”