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The Road to Tokyo

Olympic Golf 2021: How players qualify to compete in Tokyo (and the latest rankings)

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images
Olympic champion Justin Rose is flanked by silver medalist Henrik Stenson and bronze medal winner Matt Kuchar at the 2016 Rio Games. 

By Ryan Herrington
Golf made a memorable return to the Olympics in 2016 after an 112-year absence and will be part of the Summer Games again this July in Tokyo—so long as there are a Summer Games this July in Tokyo. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the International Olympic Committee to postpone the entire 2020 Olympics to 2021, and while there is uncertainty about how many fans will be allowed to attend and much of the logistics, the IOC is preparing to move forward with the competition this summer.

When it is played, both the men’s and women’s Olympic competitions will be 72-hole stroke-play tournaments held at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kasahata, Saitama, Japan, about 35 miles northwest of downtown Tokyo. As was the case in Rio, the field in both events will consist of 60 players representing their respective home countries.

But how will those Olympic fields be determined? The short answer is the same way they were supposed to be a year ago.

To help understand the Olympic qualification process, we’ve outlined the rules below as well as listed what the field would look like as of the most recently published Olympic Golf Rankings (Jan. 11). We’ll update this list periodically to keep you up to speed on who is in and who is out of the Tokyo Olympics ahead of the actual final deadline for eligibility.

So here goes: The same qualification rules apply for both the men’s and women’s Olympics fields. The top 15 players in the Olympic Golf Rankings (which essentially mirror the Official World Golf Ranking for men and the Rolex Rankings for women) will be eligible for the Olympics up to a maximum of four golfers per country. The four-player max is perhaps the biggest hurdle for Woods’ effort to qualify for the Olympics as he has to make sure he’s not only in the top 15 overall in the rankings, but also that he’s one of the top four ranked Americans to secure a spot.

After the top 15, the field will be filled until getting to 60 golfers by going down the Olympic Golf Ranking, with the top two ranked players qualifying from any country that does not have two or more players from the top 15. The host country, Japan, is also guaranteed at least two golfers in the field.

Here then is a country by country breakdown of the players that would be in the Olympics if the cut off were this week (men’s qualifying ends on June 21, the day after the U.S. Open; women’s qualifying ends June 28). The men’s competition will be held July 29-Aug. 1; the women’s Aug. 4-7.

MEN (World Ranking in parenthesis)

Argentina
Emiliano Grillo (159)
Fabian Gomez (293)

Australia
Adam Scott (22)
Cameron Smith (29)
Next in line: Marc Leishman (30), Jason Day (44), Lucas Herbert (70)

Austria
Bernd Wiesberger (42)
Matthias Schwab (111)
Next in line: Sepp Straka (144)

Belgium
Thomas Detry (82)
Thomas Pieters (84)
Next in line: Nicolas Colsaerts (231)

Canada
Mackenzie Hughes (49)
Corey Conners (54)
Next in line: Adam Hadwin (80)

Czech Republic
Ondrej Liese (171)

Chile
Joaquin Niemann (31)

China
Haotong Li (172)
Xinjun Zhang (191)

Chinese Taipei
C.T. Pan (147)

Colombia
Sebastian Munoz (56)

Denmark
Rasmus Hojgaard (87)
Joachim B. Hansen (142)

Finland
Sami Valimaki (69)
Mikko Korhonen (156)
Next in line: Kalle Samooja (243)

France
Victor Perez (33)
Antoine Rozner (108)
Next in line: Michael Lorenzo-Vera (112), Romain Langasque (120), Benjamin Hebert (137)

Germany
Martin Kaymer (79)
Sebastian Heisele (209)
Next in line: Stephan Jaeger (234)

Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Tyrrell Hatton (10)
Matthew Fitzpatrick (16)
Next in line: Tommy Fleetwood (19), Paul Casey (26), Lee Westwood (36), Justin Rose (37), Ian Poulter (48)

India
Rashid Khan (294)
Next in line: Udayan Mane (300)

Ireland
Rory McIlroy (7)
Shane Lowry (34)
Next in line: Graeme McDowell (81)

Italy
Francesco Molinari (122)
Renato Paratore (146)
Next in line: Francesco Laporta (149), Guido Migliozzi (203)

Japan
Hideki Matsuyama (21)
Shugo Imahira (76)
Next in line: Ryo Ishikawa (91), Rikuya Hoshino (109), Takumi Kanaya (118)

Malaysia
Gavin Kyle Green (190)

Mexico
Abraham Ancer (24)
Carlos Ortiz (60)

The Netherlands
Joost Luiten (164)
Wil Besseling (168)

New Zealand
Danny Lee (140)
Ryan Fox (205)

Norway
Viktor Hovland (14)
Kristoffer Ventura (179)

Poland
Adrian Meronk (186)

Slovakia
Rory Sabbatini (122)

South Africa
Louis Oosthuizen (23)
Christiaan Bezuidenhout (35)
Next in line: Erik van Rooyen (52), Dylan Frittelli (67), Garrick Higgo (89), George Coetze (93), Shaun Norris (113)

South Korea
Sungjae Im (18)
Byeong Hun An (77)
Next in line: Sung Kang (86), Si Woo Kim (100)

Spain
Jon Rahm (2)
Sergio Garcia (45)
Next in line: Rafa Cabrera-Bello (106)

Sweden
Henrik Stenson (65)
Alex Noren (94)
Next in line: Marcus Kinhult (110)

Thailand
Jazz Janewattananond (90)
Gunn Chareonkul (157)

United States
Justin Thomas (2)
Xander Schauffele (4)
Collin Morikawa (5)
Bryson DeChambeau (6)
Next in line: Webb Simpson (8), Patrick Cantlay (9), Patrick Reed (11), Brooks Koepka (12), Daniel Berger (13)

Venezuela
Jhonattan Vegas (225)

Zimbabwe
Scott Vincent (214)

Scott Halleran
Lydia Ko, Inbee Park and Shanshan Feng, medallists at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

WOMEN (Rolex Rankings in parenthesis)

Argentina
Magdalena Simmermacher (386)

Australia
Minjee Lee (8)
Hannah Green (18)
Next in line: Katherine Kirk (82), Su-Hyun Oh (87)

Austria
Christine Wolf (254)

Belgium
Manon De Roey (224)

Canada
Brooke Henderson (6)
Alena Sharp (105)

China
Shanshan Feng (31)
Yu Liu (58)
Next in line: Xiyu Lin (98), Jing Yan (107)

Chinese Taipei
Wei-Ling Hsu (126)
Teresa Lu (131)

Colombia
Mariajo Uribe (221)

Czech Republic
Klara Spilkova (294)

Denmark
Emily Kristine Pedersen (71)
Nanna Koerstz Madsen (76)
Next in line: Nicole Larsen (101)

Ecuador
Daniela Darquea (265)

Finland
Matilda Castrren (212)
Sanna Nuutinen (247)
Next in line: Ursula Wikstrom (338)

France
Celine Boutier (57)
Perrine Delacour (103)

Germany
Sophia Popov (26)
Caroline Masson (51)

Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Charley Hull (34)
Georgia Hall (38)
Next in line: Melissa Reid (39), Bronte Law (68), Jodi Shadoff (78)

Hong Kong
Tiffany Chan (256)

India
Aditi Ashok (172)
Diksha Dagar (401)

Ireland
Stephanie Meadow (193)
Leona Maguire (213)

Italy
Giulia Molinaro (332)

Japan
Nasa Hataoka (7)
Hinako Shibuno (13)
Ai Suzuki (14)
Next in line: Ayaka Furue (16), Ai Suzuki (22)

Malaysia
Kelly Tan (144)

Mexico
Gaby Lopez (56)
Maria Fassi (138)

Morocco
Maha Haddioui (397)

The Netherlands
Anne van Dam (97)

New Zealand
Lydia Ko (29)

Norway
Marianna Skarpnord (190)
Tonje Daffinrud (360)

Paraguay
Julieta Granada (412)

The Philippines
Yuka Saso (45)
Bianca Pagdanganan (150)

Puerto Rico
Maria Fernanda Torres (133)

South Africa
Ashleigh Buhai (70)
Lee-Anne Pace (278)

South Korea
Jin Young Ko (1)
Sei Young Kim (2)
Inbee Park (3)
Hyo-Joo Kim (9)
Next in line: Sung Hyun Park (10), Jeongeun Lee6 (12), So Yeon Ryu (14), Hae Ryu (17), Hana Jang (20)

Spain
Carlota Ciganda (15)
Azahara Munoz (69)

Sweden
Anna Nordqvist (54)
Madelene Sagstrom (61)
Next in line: Linnea Strom (122), Caroline Hedwall (139)

Thailand
Ariya Jutanugarn (21)
Moriya Jutanugarn (43)
Next in line: Jasmine Suwannapura (73)

United States
Nelly Korda (4)
Danielle Kang (5)
Lexi Thompson (11)
Next in line: Jennifer Kupcho (19), Jessica Korda (23), Austin Ernst (32), Lizette Salas (33), Ally Ewing (35)

 

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