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U.S. women plan to enjoy Olympic Games off the golf course, too

Players to watch in 2024 Amundi Evian Championship
Paige Mackenzie joins Golf Central to discuss key players heading into the 2024 Amundi Evian Championship, including Ally Ewing, Nelly Korda and Lilia Vu.

The opening ceremony for the Paris Olympics is July 26. The women’s golf competition doesn’t begin until Aug. 7.

That leaves players plenty of time to be fans.

Golf is one of 32 core sports in these Games. Sixty men and 60 women will compete in their respective events, with the men going first, Aug. 1-4.

The fields were confirmed Tuesday by the International Golf Federation.

Both will play Le Golf National, site of the 2018 Ryder Cup. And while the three women who will represent the U.S. are looking forward to playing, they are also eager to enjoy the experience.

“I may arrive a day or two prior and just enjoy myself. The Olympics is a special time, and to soak in the experience also involves interacting with other athletes and seeing how they’re performing or competing,” Rose Zhang said Wednesday at the Amundi Evian Championship, the LPGA’s fourth of five majors.

“I watched the Olympics ever since the I was an itty-bitty person. I watched all the different events – gymnastics, swimming, track and field – and now calling myself an Olympian is not something that I’ve ever thought about before just because it was so far into the future.”

Zhang said Team USA has a hotel closer to the course and that they will not be staying in the village.

“Yeah, we’re staying in Versailles, so super excited for that,” said Lilia Vu. “I am also trying to go see the gymnastics. I think that is one thing that I wanted to go do, and maybe other sports. I think my dad wanted to watch table tennis, so I might go with him.

“I mean, there are so many sports, so many people from different countries, and hopefully I meet some people out there.”

Vu, like Zhang, will be making her Olympic debut. The third U.S. qualifier, however, is more than just a returnee: she’s the defending champion.

Nelly Korda will be the favorite to add another gold medal to the shelf she had specially built in her home office to showcase her accomplishment.

She didn’t say on Wednesday how much she’ll leave her “bubble” in Paris, but she previously expressed how much she was going to enjoy the pastries and playing the role of tourist.

She’ll also be watching as the men vie for medals.

“I’m definitely going to go watch the guys on the final day and root on the U.S.,” she said, “and get to watch the guys that I grew up idolizing and watch every day on TV.”