PLENTY OF PRACTICE: Scott Hend of Australia blasts from a bunker.
PLENTY OF PRACTICE: Scott Hend of Australia blasts from a bunker. FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

Golfers have no course for concern

GOLF: The return of golf to the Olympic stage after 112 years may not have gone to plan, with the men's draw depleted by big-name withdrawals, but those on the ground in Rio have been lapping up the atmosphere and enjoying a remarkable course.

Australian team captain Ian Baker-Finch is among the impressed.

"I think there's a lot of good vibes about the place and I'm not just saying that, it genuinely is a very positive feel out there,” Baker-Finch told Fox Sports.

"No one's roaming around bitching and moaning about anything. The boys had a feeling it would be a lot better than expected and it is. It's been really, really cool.”

Baker-Finch and the Australian pair of Scott Hend and Marcus Fraser have spent hours familiarising themselves with the Olympic course, which is located on a nature reserve on the coast of western Rio.

"There's gators and owls and all various sorts of things going on, everyone's very impressed with the whole environment out there,” Baker-Finch said.

"The capybara (the world's largest rodent) ... that bloody thing is huge. Have you seen it? It's like a six-month-old pig.

"I think everyone enjoys the fact they've done such a good job with the course and it's in a natural environment.”

Fraser, who is partnered with France's Julian Quesne and Japan's Shingo Katayama, will tee off at 8.03pm tonight, ahead of Scott Hend, Italy's Nino Bertasio and China's Ashun Wu at 10.03pm.


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