Tough day in Rio for South African golfers

Cape Town - Jaco van Zyl and Brandon Stone endured a torrid time in the opening round of the Rio Olympic Games on Thursday.

Despite the relatively benign conditions at the at the Reserva de Marapendi, van Zyl could not take advantage, carding an even par 71, eight strokes behind clubhouse leader Marcus Fraser of Australia.

It could have been worse for van Zyl, as he was two over par on the eighth tee before a birdie on the par three and another gain on the 14th gave his round some respectability. 

However, the same could not be said of the young Stone.

The world number 96 started brightly with two birdies but his round fell apart shortly after, with a disastrous stretch of nine holes where he dropped seven shots. Stone would finish with a four over 75.

Meanwhile, Fraser took advantage of the early conditions to card a superb round eight-under-par 63, which was almost certainly set to give him the first-round lead.

After cancelling out his birdie on the first with a bogey on the par four second, Fraser went on a streak of four birdies.

Thanks to some sizzling iron play, he carded four more on the back nine, including one on the par five 18th, which saw him move to the top of the leaderboard.

Elsewhere, Graham DeLaet of Canada would post a five under 66, complete with six birdies.

There was also much cheering on the par three fourth when Justin Rose holed out for the first hole-in-one in the modern Olympic Games.

Scores after Thursday's first round of the Rio Olympic men's golf tournament (par-71):

63 - Marcus Fraser (AUS)

66 - Graham DeLaet (CAN), Henrik Stenson (SWE)

67 - Thomas Pieters (BEL), Gregory Bourdy (FRA), Alex Cejka (GER), Justin Rose (GBR), Rafael Cabrera Bello (ESP)

68 - An Byeong-Hun (KOR), Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL)

69 - Matteo Manassero (ITA), David Lingmerth (SWE), Matt Kuchar (USA), Martin Kaymer (GER), Pan C.T. (TPE), Sergio Garcia (ESP)

70 - Padraig Harrington (IRL), Wang Jeung-Hun (KOR), Fabian Gomez (ARG), Jose-Filipe Lima (POR), Li Haotong (CHN), Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR), Emiliano Grillo (ARG), Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN), Ryan Fox (NZL), Thongchai Jaidee (THA)

71 - Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA), Julien Quesne (FRA), Felipe Aguilar (CHI), Danny Willett (GBR), Jaco van Zyl (RSA), S.S.P. Chawrasia (IND), Seamus Power (IRL)

72 - Adilson da Silva (BRA), Danny Lee (NZL), Espen Kofstad (NOR), Roope Kakko (FIN), Nino Bertasio (ITA), Joost Luiten (NED), Patrick Reed (USA), Jhonattan Vegas (VEN)

73 - Gavin Green (MAS), Danny Chia (MAS), Soren Kjeldsen (DEN), Bubba Watson (USA), Mikko Ilonen (FIN), David Hearn (CAN), Miguel Tabuena (PHI), Ricardo Gouveia (POR)

74 - Shingo Katayama (JPN), Bernd Wiesberger (AUT), Anirban Lahiri (IND), Yuta Ikeda (JPN), Wu Ashun (CHN), Scott Hend (AUS)

75 - Brandon Stone (RSA), Siddikur Rahman (BAN), Rickie Fowler (USA)

76 - Rodolfo Cazaubon (MEX)

77 - Lin Wen-Tang (TPE)

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