Matt Kuchar thought Olympic golf was a team competition; it's not

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Matt Kuchar is one of four U.S. men in the Olympic golf tournament (Getty Images)
Matt Kuchar is one of four U.S. men in the Olympic golf tournament (Getty Images)

Matt Kuchar is part of the seven-player — four men, three women — American contingent taking part in golf’s return to the Olympics next week in Rio de Janeiro.

Apparently, until Wednesday, he figured he would be representing the U.S.A. along with Bubba Watson, Patrick Reed and Rickie Fowler in a team competition. He’s not.

Yikes.

To be absolutely clear, the Olympic golf format, for both the men’s and women’s tournaments, is a 60-player, no-cut, 72-hole individual tournament. The medals are awarded to individuals who represent their countries. It’s not like the Ryder Cup or the World Cup of Golf or the NCAA golf championships.

Golf returns to the Olympic program this year after a 112-year absence. It was last in the Games in St. Louis in 1904. Back then, they had a team competition (with multiple American teams, representing golf associations instead of countries), then an individual competition. They also had a long-drive contest and a putting challenge, all for medals.

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.


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