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Team Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry will begin their quests for Olympic medals on the morning of Thursday, July 29th at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama.
Round One of the Olympic Golf tournament is scheduled to begin at 23:30 pm on Wednesday, July 28th – McIlroy and Lowry will tee-off several hours later.
Both golfers will be playing at their first Olympic Games after choosing not to travel to Brazil in 2016 due to the Zika virus outbreak.
McIlroy and Lowry are the two highest-ranked Irish golfers in the world and the latter is the most recent Irish golfer to win a major – The 2019 Open Championship.
The pair will go up against other top golfers in the world such as Justin Thomas and 2021 Championship Golfer of the Year Collin Morikawa.
Rio 2016 Gold Medalist Justin Rose will not compete this year and neither will Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau as both have contracted Covid.
Rory McIlroy comes into the tournament in Saitama off the back of some mixed form which has seen him miss multiple cuts but also get back to winning ways at the Wells Fargo Championship.
His form can be encapsulated by a contrast between the tied-seventh finish at the US Open on a tough Torrey Pines course in June and a poor Open Championship several weeks later on a Links course.
The Northern Irish golfer has been paired with Morikawa, an American, and South Korean prospect Sungjae Im for a 2:25 am tee time on Thursday morning, followed by a 00:25 am start for Round Two.
Shane Lowry enters this year’s Olympics a better player than he was in 2016 and has also been the most consistent Irish golfer at the top level, of late.
Lowry’s solid weekends have seen the Offaly professional post his best-ever finishes at the PGA Championship and The Masters this year, along with a respectable eighth at the high-profile Players’ Championship.
The Clara native will play his opening rounds with Patrick Reed of the USA and Team GB’s Tommy Fleetwood.
The trio will tee-off after McIlroy and co. in both rounds, with a tee time of 2:36 am in Round One and 00:41 am in Round Two.
The two golfers’ groups will be among the last to play the 18 holes on Thursday and among the first to do so on Friday.
Click here to see all the tee times for the opening two rounds of the Olympic tournament.
Click here to see the Olympic schedule for Thursday, July 29th.