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USA Golf Off To Strong Start At Olympics

Patrick Reed of Team United States plays a shot on the 18th hole during the first round of the Men's Individual Stroke Play on day six of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Kasumigaseki Country Club on July 29, 2021 in Kawagoe, Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The USA men’s golf team got off to a good start at the Olympics after all four players carded first-round scores of par or better.

Team USA consists of Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa, and Patrick Reed. Days before the opening round, Bryson DeChambeau tested positive for Covid-19 which opened the door for Patrick Reed to replace him. Reed flew to Tokyo last minute and arrived just in time for his opening tee time. Reed did not play any practice rounds before his opening round at the Olympics.

Reed then proceeded to card a team-best three-under-par, 68, after arriving in Japan less than 24 hours ago. He was joined by Schauffele who also carded a 68. Morikawa shot a 69 while Thomas carded a unique round that involved 18 pars for an even-par round of 71.

“Once you tee it up and you’re out there the whole experience thing and being excited to be here goes out the window,” Thomas said following his first round. “It’s time to compete once that tee goes into the ground and that first tee shot’s in the air, then it’s not just about it it’s cool to be here anymore, it’s about trying to win a golf tournament.”

Austria’s Sepp Straka set the pace early after firing a course-record eight-under, 63. He holds an overnight lead of two over Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand, and a three-shot lead over Thomas Pieters of Belgium and Carlos Ortiz of Mexico.

The Women will begin proceedings on Tuesday, August 3rd.