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Top Women Golfers Going After Olympic Dreams

As the 71st U.S. Women's Open gets set to tee off Thursday at Cordevalle in San Martin, there was plenty of discussion Wednesday about another golf competition happening next month in Rio.

Indeed, golf is returning to the Olympics for the first time since 1904, and today's best LPGA pros are just as excited about competing for their country as they would be about playing in a major.

"Growing up, I couldn't say that I wanted to be an Olympian, so now that I could, it's a dream come true," said Lexi Thompson, No. 4 in the world rankings. "So to be there in Rio, it would be quite the honor."

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Stacy Lewis, No. 8 in the world, will join Lexi Thompson on Team USA.

"Winning a gold medal would be up there with winning a major championship to me," said Stacy Lewis, the No. 8 player in the world.

Lewis and Thompson are a lock to represent Team USA in Rio, as the Top 15 in the world get in automatically.

A good showing this weekend could bump 16th-ranked Gerina Piller onto the team, as well.

"As far as this week, that is on the line, but that's not something I can control," Piller said. "I can't control where I finish. I can control the process, so that's kind of my main goal this week."

If she does make it, she can join Lewis and Thompson, who are already thinking about those they'd like to rub shoulders with. Tops on Thompson's list is gymnast Gabby Douglas.

"Hopefully, to meet her and talk to her a little bit," said Thompson. "She seems like a pretty cool girl."

Lewis, meanwhile, is a hoops fan.

"Durant would be pretty cool," she said. "I've gotten to be a bit of a Thunder fan so I'm a little bit disappointed he left. But any of those guys."

And, for Lewis, that's what it's all about - just being there and taking it all in.

"It's more just about enjoying the experience," Lewis said. "Yes, it would be great to come home with a gold medal, but it's more about the experience of being there."

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Gerina Piller, at No. 16 in the world, is on the bubble for the Olympics.
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