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Aussie golfers excited by Rio challenge

  • Aussie golfers excited by Rio challenge

    Minjee Lee has voiced her pride in becoming one of Australia's first golf Olympians.

Some of the sport's biggest names knocked it back but Marcus Fraser, Scott Hend, Minjee Lee and Su Oh are excited and proud to become their country's first golfing Olympians.

Hend or Fraser will be the first of the Australian quartet to tee off in Rio as golf returns to the Games after a 112-year absence, with the 60-strong men's tournament starting on August 11.

Countrymen Jason Day, Adam Scott an Marc Leishman are among a bunch of the world's best who declined the chance to play, either through concerns about the Zika virus or lack of enthusiasm for golf's place in the Games.

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But those selected jumped at the opportunity provided.

"To play in the Olympics is a dream come true," said Fraser.

"Obviously with golf being back for the first time in over 100 years it is pretty amazing and it's going to be a great week and I can't wait to represent our great country."

Hend, who will turn 43 during the final round of the 72-hole stroke play event, is embracing the Olympics as a new experience in his long career.

"I'll go to Brazil and represent Australia the best way that I can," said Hend.

"I've never been to Brazil and, while I've competed in Mexico and Panama, I'm looking forward to pulling on the green and gold as it will be something different."

Lee, 20, is the highest ranked of the Australians at world No.14, having already won two LPGA Tour titles inside her first two seasons as a pro.

"I can't wait to represent Australia in the Olympics and think it is the highest honour that you can ever have," Lee said.

"Just being among all the amazing athletes will be pretty cool and the atmosphere of the Olympics will be a special thing."

Oh, also 20, edged out golf great Karrie Webb for the second Australian women's team berth on ranking after claiming second and eighth placings on the LPGA Tour in the past couple of months.

"When my parents brought my big sister, my little brother and me to Australia when I was eight years old, I didn't even play golf," Oh said.

"They could never in their wildest dreams have imagined one of us would represent Australia in the Olympic Games.

"It's a dream come true for my whole family."

Lee and Oh were part of the Australian team that won the world amateur championship in 2014.

The 60 women tournament starts on August 17.

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