The Pan American Games in Toronto feature golf for the first time in their 64-year history.
This will be the first time since the 1904 Olympic Games that golf will be played at an international multi-sport competition. Only Canada and the United States played in the 1904 Olympics.
Team USA is a heavy favorite to medal in golf’s Pan Am Games debut.
Representing the men will be Beau Hossler of the University of Texas and Lee McCoy of the University of Georgia. Hossler qualified for the 2011 and 2012 U.S. Open as a teenager, while McCoy is ranked among the top five male amateurs in the world (as of July 5).
“It’s such an incredible honor to be selected, especially since it's just two of us,” McCoy said. “I’ve known Beau for a while now and I really do respect his game. It should be a great event for us.”
Kristen Gillman, the 2014 Amateur U.S. Open champion, and Andrea Lee, the No. 11 player in the Women's World Amateur Golf rankings (as of July 5), will be representing the women’s team.
After golf was added to the Olympic program for 2016, it was added to the 2015 Pan Am Games as well. The Pan Am golf competition will be held July 16-19.
The venue for the golf tournament will be the Angus Glen Golf Club. Built in 1995, it is most known for hosting the Canadian Open in 2002 and 2007. In 2013, the course underwent renovations in preparation for the 2015 Games.
A total of 64 athletes are competing in the inaugural tournament. Nations are allowed two golfers per gender. Golfers qualified through the Official World Golf Ranking, Women's World Golf Rankings and (if necessary) the World Amateur Golf Ranking as of April 28, 2015. As the host nation, Canada automatically qualified a full team of four golfers.
There will be a total of three golf events: singles events for men and women, and a mixed team event.
The format will be individual 72-hole, stroke play. Should there be a tie in any of the top three positions, a three-hole playoff will determine a winner.
Representing their country is recognition enough, but McCoy assures that Team USA has its eyes on the gold medal.
“I think our chances to medal are very good,” McCoy said. “We’ve got a lot of confidence and if I was another player and saw Lee and Beau on the opponent card, I wouldn’t want to play them.”
Kennington Smith is a student in the Sports Media Certificate program at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.