Tokyo 2020: When does the golf start at the Olympics, what time is teetime and who's playing?

Golf is back at the Olympics this evening and the absence of Rio 2016 gold medallist Justin Rose means there will be a new champion on the podium.

Golf returned to the Olympics in Rio de Janiero for the first time in 112 years, with Britain’s Justin Rose and South Korea’s Inbee Park taking gold.

Rose is one of a number of prominent absences in the men’s competition this year – including five of the top 10 players – with some professionals continuing to question its place in the golfing calender.

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World number one Jon Rahm and popular USA star player Bryson DeChambeau both had to pull out after testing positive for Covid.

But Park will be returning to defend her title in a very strong women’s field that includes the world's top 15 golfers.

Team Great Britain only have one competitor taking part across both competitions – England’s Paul Casey.

Here’s everything you need to know about the tournament.

When does golf start at the Olympics?

Paul Casey is the only British hope for Olympic glory in Japan.

The men’s tournament begins at 11.30pm (7.30am local time) on Thursday, July 29.

The International Golf Federation has given the honor of taking the first drive to Japanese golfer Rikuya Hoshino, who will be playing with Belgium’s Thomas Pieters and Austria’s Sepp Straka.

The women’s event will tee off at 11.30pm on Wednesday, August 4.

What is the format of golf at the Tokyo Olympics?

World number one Nelly Korda, of the USA, is hot favourite to win gold in the women's competition.

The Olympic golf will consist of the same format as normal golf tournaments – four rounds of 18 holes on four consecutive days in groups of three players.

There is no cut so all players will complete four rounds, with the lowest overall score taking the gold medal.

The leading players will play off last during the final two rounds.

If there’s a tie after 72 holes, the winner will be decided by way of sudden death playoff.

Four-time major champion Rory Mcllroy will be representing Ireland, but has been less than effusive about the tournament in interviews.

Play will begin each day at 11.30pm at the Kasumigaseki Country Club.

What golfers are taking part in the Olympics?

The full lineup for the men’s tournament is: Justin Thomas (United States), Collin Morikawa (United States), Xander Schauffele (United States), Patrick Reed (United States), Rory McIlroy (Ireland), Viktor Hovland (Norway), Hideki Matsuyama (Japan), Paul Casey (Great Britain), Abraham Ancer (Mexico), and Im Sung-jae (South Korea).

Battling for the women’s title will be: Nelly Korda (United States), Ko Jin-young (South Korea), Inbee Park (South Korea), Kim Sei-young (South Korea), Danielle Kang (United States), Kim Hyo-joo (South Korea), Brooke Henderson (Canada), Yuka Saso (Philippines), Lexi Thompson (United States), Lydia Ko (New Zealand).

How can I watch the Olympic golf?

The golf will be shown live on the BBC iPlayer, Eurosport Player and discovery+.

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