15th August 2016 | Sunshine Ladies Tour
Reto and Simon set to start in Rio
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (15 August 2016) â€“ South Africaâ€™s Ashleigh Simon and Paula Reto are among the worldâ€™s top women golfers set to take the Olympic stage in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, 17 August.
A field of 60 competitors in the womenâ€™sÂ golf competition at Rio 2016Â will be seeking to follow in the footsteps of American Margaret Abbott, who won the gold medal in Paris in 1900.
Like Adilson da Silva in the menâ€™s competition, the host nationâ€™s Miriam Nagl will hit the opening tee shot at 7.30am in the company of Irish amateur Leona Maguire and Kelly Tan of Malaysia. Naglâ€™s drive will mark the return of womenâ€™s golf as an Olympic sport after an absence of 116 years.
South Africaâ€™s Paula Reto will hit South Africaâ€™s first shot at 7.52am.
Reto is teeing off with Nicole Broch Larsen from Denmark â€“ the Ladies European Tour Player of the Year in 2015 â€“ and last yearâ€™s US Womenâ€™s Open Championship winner Chun In Gee from South Korea.
South Africaâ€™s Simon goes off nearly two hours later at 9.47am.
Her company for the first two rounds include two-time LPGA Tour winner Haru Nomura from Japan and Pernille Lindberg from Sweden, who like Simon, also celebrated Espirito Santo Trophy victory in the World Amateur Team Championships before she turned pro in 2009.
World number one Lydia Ko of New Zealand will start her campaign alongside Swedenâ€™s Anna Nordqvist and Great Britainâ€™s Charley Hull in the final group at 11:09am.
Ko comes into the event as the top ranked golfer in the current world rankings and the number one qualifier for the Olympics, however, number two Ariya Jutanugarn from Thailand is very much the in-form golfer at the moment.
Fresh from her first major championship victory at the RICOH Womenâ€™s British Open a fortnight ago, Jutanugarn will represent Thailand playing alongside American Stacy Lewis and Sei Young Kim from the Republic of Korea.
Canadian Brooke Henderson, the current world number three, has been paired with two-time major champion Suzann Pettersen from Norway and fourth ranked Lexi Thompson of the United States.
Former world number one Inbee Park from Korea has been side-lined since the beginning of June with a thumb injury, but she has worked hard toward the opportunity to represent her country in Rio and will tee it up with American Gerina Piller and Spainâ€™s Azahara Munoz.
In addition to Maguire, the field also includes two more amateur golfers including Tiffany Chan of Hong Kong and Albane Valenzuela of Switzerland.
ABOUT THE IGT
The IGF was founded in 1958 to encourage the international development of the game and to employ golf as a vehicle to foster friendship and sportsmanship. The IGF is comprised ofÂ 146 National Federation Members in 141 countries and 22 Professional Members. The IGF serves as the International Olympic Committeeâ€™s recognised International Federation for golf.
PHOTO – Paula Reto (credit Getty Images) and Ashleigh SImon (Credit Tristan Jones / LET)