Some of the best players in the world, including Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, might have decided to skip the Rio 2016 Olympics, but that should not put a dampener on what promises to be a tournament to savour as golf returns to the greatest sporting show on earth for the first time in 112 years.
While most of the talk coming into this Olympic golf event has been about the pullouts – six of the top ten have withdrawn from the tournament, citing various reasons – once that first tee is hit by Brazilian Adilson da Silva, all that negativity will take a backseat.
When the sport gets into its rhythm and the putts start going in, and there is a hole in one or four, all the withdrawals will be forgotten, which is precisely what Martin Kaymer, the former world number one wants.
"I hate that people just talk about who is not here," Kaymer told DW. "They pretend it's a weak field. You have so many major champions, great players, who are in good form right now, and it's not easy to win. I think it's a little bit disrespectful to some of the players who are here that they talk more about the guys who stayed home.
"This is why we all started our sport, when we were 12, 15 years old. We went on the range, we didn't do it for money, we went because it was our love, what we wanted to do."
Kaymer will be one of 60 golfers hoping to stand up on that top step of the podium, with a gold medal swinging around his neck, with two Indians also in the fray to make history. SSP Chawrasia and Anirban Lahiri qualified for India in the golf event, and while this is not the strongest of fields you will find in the world, the two Indians will have to play out of their skins to win a medal.
"The field that we have here is quite deep," Lahiri who will tee it up with Kaymer and American Bubba Watson in the first two rounds, told NDTV. "Whether you have top 2, 3 players in the world or the top 25 from the next 27, the field is still deep.
"Having said that, the Olympics is a different ball game you just have to believe that you can win. For me the attitude remains the same – be aggressive and just go for it."
There will be 59 other golfers thinking the same, which makes for some fascinating viewing.
Where to Watch Live
The first group will tee off at 7.30 a.m. local time (4 p.m. IST, 11.30 a.m. BST). Lahiri is scheduled to tee off at 9.14 a.m. local time (5.44 p.m. IST), while Chawrasia is set to open his campaign at 10.47 a.m. local time (7.17 p.m. IST). Live Streaming and TV information is below.
India: TV: Star Sports and DD National. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
Brazil: TV: SporTV, Globo, Fox Sports and ESPN.
China: TV: CCTV.
Australia: TV: Channel 7, 7Two and 7Mate. Live Streaming: Channel 7 online.
UK: TV: BBC. Live Streaming: BBCiPlayer.