2016 Olympic Golf Preview

Many months ago, we looked at the pros and cons of golf being an Olympic sport for the first time in over 100 years. Despite the surrounding controversy and the lack of commitment from some of the best players in the game, we are still excited to watch what will undoubtedly be an interesting competition. Rounds begin August 11, and we'll help you be more prepared than anyone to watch. You can even view a 3D flyover preview of the Rio Olympic Course here.

Format

60 men and 60 women players are competing in a 72-hole stroke play format for the gold, silver and bronze. Those players have been determined by the Official World Golf Ranking, besides the many who have opted out of the Olympic games.

41 nations are participating. The United States has the most golfers participating, with 4 men and 3 women.

U.S. men: Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Patrick Reed, Matt Kuchar
U.S. women: Lexi Thompson, Stacy Lewis, Gerina Piller

Who to watch out for

Women's world number one Lydia Ko will be representing New Zealand. She even opted to stay outside the Olympic village so she can be free of distraction and prepare for her rounds according to her normal routine. The 19-year-old has 14 LPGA Tour victories, so we can trust her routine is working.

Henrik Stenson won The Open Championship and then briefly looked like he could win the PGA Championship, but finished tied for 7th. You better bet he's going to bring star power for Sweden, being the current number 5 in the Official World Golf Rankings.

Sergio Garcia could be the dark horse in this competition, representing Spain. He has yet to win a major, but he still has landed in the top 5 of each one. A gold medal would be something none of his competitors have.