Rio 2016: Previewing golf's dark horses

Rio 2016: Previewing golf's dark horses

Five players who could unexpectedly bring home a medal as golf tees off tomorrow.

john-lupo
John Lupo

With golf set to return to the Olympics for the first time in 112 years, the field will gather at The Olympic Course in Rio. Notables absent are Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson, the top four players in the world. Such major champions as Henrik StensonJustin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Danny Willett and Bubba Watson are in Rio, but there are plenty of sleepers lurking. Here are five of those players:

Emiliano Grillo 

The Argentine arrived to the Olympics amid his clubs being lost. Now that they have been found, he can concentrate on going about winning a medal and he's certainly one to watch as he picked up his first career PGA Tour win this season at the Frys.com Open while also posting Top 20 in three of the four major championships this year, co-leading with Jimmy Walker at the PGA Championship.

Emiliano Grillo earned his first PGA Tour win at last October's Frys.com Open/Photo: Kyle Terada/USA Today Spoirts
Emiliano Grillo earned his first PGA Tour win at last October's Frys.com Open/Photo: Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports

Jhonattan Vegas

Vegas recently picked up his second PGA Tour victory at the RBC Canadian Open. That win got him his full playing privileges on the Tour back. He's always had the game to win on Tour, but with confidence after his win north of the border and his length, he certainly could bring a medal back to Venezuela.

Jhonattan Vegas won his second career PGA Tour event at the RBC Canadian Open this year/Photo: Eric Bolte/USA Today Sports
Jhonattan Vegas won his second career PGA Tour event at the RBC Canadian Open this year/Photo: Eric Bolte/USA Today Sports

Danny Lee

Lee was a winner on the PGA Tour at last year's Greenbrier Classic and picked up a Top 20 at this year's Masters. A phenomenal talent, he's someone whose chances undeservedly get played down.

Danny Lee takes a picture during a practice round at The Olympic Course in Rio/Photo:
Danny Lee takes a picture during a practice round at The Olympic Course in Rio/Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Padraig Harrington

A three-time major champion, the Irishman got his career back on track with a win at last year's Honda Classic and just finished 13th at the PGA. As someone with prior major championship experience, don't be surprised if he's in the hunt come Sunday.

Soren  Kjeldsen and his caddie during a practice round at The Olympic Course in Rio/Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images
Soren Kjeldsen and his caddie during a practice round at The Olympic Course in Rio/Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Soren Kjeldsen

The Dane won last year's Irish Open and has posted top ten finishes at both this year's Masters (seventh) and British Open (ninth). Although hes never won a major championship or a PGA Tour event, his results in the majors this year put him squarely in the hunt.

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