RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — This is the seventh day of the Olympics and for the first time in 112 years, golf is being contested. Today marks the start of play with six of the top 10 players in the world not taking part. For various reasons they withdrew before the start of the Games.

Brazil's Adilson da Silva was chosen to hit the opening tee shot early this morning when there were more officials than spectators on the course.

Some of the bigger names taking part are Henrik Stenson, Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson.

The last time golf was an Olympic sports was in 1904 when the Games were held in St. Louis.

A total of 21 gold medals are up for grabs in 11 sports today with high-powered performances expected from American stars Michael Phelps and Simone Biles. Phelps, who is competing in the 200-meter individual medley, is looking for his 22nd Olympic gold medal. Gymnast Biles hopes to add an individual all-around gold to her collection of three world championship titles and a team Rio gold.

The seemingly unstoppable American Katie Ledecky is also back in the pool, this time to qualify for the 800-meter freestyle. She earned her third gold of the Rio games on Wednesday in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay.

American Kayla Harrison is projected to be a potential medal winner in the Women's 78-kilogram judo competition. The semifinals are on tap today.

In other action involving Americans, the women's field hockey team is playing India, the men's rugby squad is going against Spain for ninth place, the men's volleyball team is looking for a win against Brazil and the women's water polo team is facing China.

The U.S. continues to lead in the medal count. Team USA has 32 medals: 11 gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze. China is second with 23 medals overall and Japan is third with 18.

Reports of crime in Rio continue to come in. A Russian swimming official says he was robbed at gunpoint by two men near a beach away from the Olympic venues. The man wasn't hurt but robbed of what was in his pockets.

And three police offers were shot when they took a wrong turn near the airport. One of the officers was shot in the head and was listed in stable condition after four hours of surgery.

With one swing, Adilson da Silva of Brazil put golf back into the Olympics for the first time in 112 years.

The lone Brazilian in the 60-man field was chosen to hit the opening tee shot at the Olympic Golf Course in a proud moment for the sport. His drive went right down the middle of the fairway, and da Silva smiled and removed his cap to wave at the crowd.

The grandstand was filled with more golf officials than fans.

Not since 1904 in St. Louis has an Olympic medal been awarded in golf. The sport has come under scrutiny because six of the top 10 players in the world chose not to play.

International Golf Federation Peter Dawson President turned and flashed two thumbs up when the first group teed off. He called it a long journey and then added, "or the beginning of a new one."


More From 1460 ESPN