A required test event at the newly constructed Olympic Golf Course in Rio de Janeiro will take place without any of the top-ranked players in the world but will proceed with nine Brazilian golfers.
The March 8 exhibition, called the Aquece Rio Golf Challenge, will be an 18-hole tournament contested by five men -- four of whom are the top-ranked Brazilians in the Official World Golf Ranking -- as well as the top four Brazilian women in the world rankings.
The event is closed to the public; local organizers will have more than 100 volunteers on site to test various operational aspects, including scoring, as part of preparations for the Summer Games. Representatives of the International Golf Federation will be in attendance as well.
Construction delays thwarted plans to have a 72-hole test event a year prior to the Olympics, which begin in August. The course did not open until November. It was changed to a one-day event with the hopes that players from the PGA Tour, European Tour and LPGA Tour could participate.
But March 8 falls just two days after the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral and during the week of the Valspar Championship -- which No. 1-ranked Jordan Spieth is defending. The LPGA Tour does not play that week but will have just completed a tournament in Singapore. And the European Tour has an event in Thailand.
"The idea is to test the system," said Ty Votaw, the PGA Tour's chief marketing officer as well as a vice president of the International Golf Federation. "It's operation. Scoring, volunteers, how the golf course will be prepared at the end of a day's play prior to a day's play. Having that be the focus and recognizing the difficulty of the worldwide travel schedule of the players, we figured it would be better for it to be a local event with Brazilian players. We will accomplish the same goals we would have with world-ranked players."