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Olympic golf 2016 live stream: How to watch Thursday's Round 1 online

The first Olympic golf tournament since 1904 tees off on Thursday morning. Here's how you can follow every shot online.

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

History will be made on Thursday as Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson, and 58 other professionals vie for the first gold medal to be awarded in Olympic golf since 1904. A smattering of the world's best golfers will walk among capybaras, three-toed sloths, and boa constrictors at the Olympic course at Reserva de Tijuca.

The field will be without the world's top four golfers and eight of its top 15 thanks to health concerns, scheduling conflicts, and team size limits. Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, and Rory McIlroy all passed up their opportunity to win gold due thanks to a mix of those concerns, most of them citing Zika or general "health" issues in Brazil. McIlroy was especially incendiary with his comments, suggesting he would "watch the stuff that matters" -- i.e. swimming and track and field -- rather than the golf tournament that gets started on Thursday.

While the Games will go without several notable names, four former major champions will dot the field of the first Olympic golf competition in 112 years. Stenson and Watson will be joined by Martin Kaymer and Padraig Harrington as the most established competitors on the course. Behind them, younger stars like Rickie Fowler, Danny Willett, and Patrick Reed will compete with veterans like Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia for a spot atop the podium.

The action begins early on Thursday morning for a four-day, 72-hole stroke play event that ends on Sunday afternoon. The tournament could wind up crowning a new rising star as a rotating fifth major, or it could go the way of Olympic soccer to become an entertaining but minor blip on the international schedule. We'll know which direction the sport is heading after the athletes tee off this week.

Here's how to watch the start online at NBC Olympics, which will simulcast it all on Thursday.

2016 Rio Olympics golf coverage for Thursday

All times Eastern

Events: Men's individual competition, 6:30 a.m.

TV: Golf Channel, 6:30 a.m. to approx. 3 p.m.

Online Streaming:

NBC Olympics simulcast stream at 6 a.m.

NBC Olympics featured holes stream, Nos. 1, 17-18

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