The Olympic Games are the world’s most celebrated sports event. In 2016, golf was reintroduced to the Olympic program after a 112-year hiatus, and it has since become one of the most popular events at the games. With the 2024 Olympics on the horizon, golf fans worldwide are excited to see who will represent their respective countries at the event.
In the United States, golf has always been a popular sport, and the country has produced some of the greatest golfers of all time. The US golfers have dominated the Olympics so far, winning four out of the six gold medals awarded in golf. As the games approach, many golf enthusiasts are eager to know which US golfers will represent the country in the upcoming Olympics.
Qualification Criteria for Olympic Golfers
To qualify for the Olympics, golfers must meet specific criteria established by the International Golf Federation (IGF). The IGF has set up a qualification system that includes several paths to Olympic qualification.
The primary method of qualification for the Olympics is through the Olympic Golf Rankings, which are based on official world golf rankings. The rankings are determined by the golfer’s performance over the past two years, with more weight given to recent performances. The top 60 golfers in both the men’s and women’s rankings qualify for the Olympics, with a limit of four golfers per country. If a country has more than four golfers in the top 60 rankings, only the top four qualify.
In addition to the Olympic Golf Rankings, each country is allowed to send up to two golfers who have not qualified through the rankings, but who are the highest-ranked golfers from their country who have not yet qualified.
With the qualification criteria explained, let’s dive into the current rankings of US golfers and their Olympic qualification status.
Current Rankings of US Golfers
As of the latest world golf rankings, the United States has several golfers ranked in the top 60 for both men and women. In the men’s rankings, Dustin Johnson is the top-ranked American at number two, followed by Bryson DeChambeau at number six, and Collin Morikawa at number seven. Other American golfers in the top 60 include Xander Schauffele, Patrick Cantlay, Brooks Koepka, and Justin Thomas.
On the women’s side, the United States has several top-ranked golfers, including Nelly Korda at number one, followed by Danielle Kang at number five, and Lexi Thompson at number 10. Other American golfers in the top 60 include Jessica Korda, Jennifer Kupcho, and Ally Ewing.
Top American Golfers’ Olympic Qualification Status
Several US golfers have already qualified for the Olympics based on their rankings. In the men’s rankings, Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, and Bryson DeChambeau have secured their spots on the team. On the women’s side, Nelly Korda, Danielle Kang, and Lexi Thompson have also qualified for the Olympics.
With the limit of four golfers per country, the United States may have to leave out some top-ranked golfers who have not qualified through the rankings. Brooks Koepka, Patrick Cantlay, and Jordan Spieth are among the American golfers who are currently outside the top four but have a chance to qualify before the Olympics.
As for the alternates for the US Olympic Golf team, the highest-ranked alternate on the men’s side is Patrick Reed, and the highest-ranked alternate on the women’s side is Austin Ernst. These golfers could potentially replace any US golfers who are unable to compete due to injury or other reasons.
Golf Course and Format for the Tokyo Olympics
The golf tournament for the Tokyo Olympics will take place at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama, Japan. The course was designed by Charles H. Alison and opened in 1929. The club has two courses, the East Course and the West Course. The tournament will be held on the East Course, which is a par-71 course with a length of 7,466 yards for the men and 6,648 yards for the women.
The golf competition for the Olympics will follow a standard 72-hole stroke play format. The men’s tournament will be held from July 29 to August 1, 2021, while the women’s tournament will take place from August 4 to August 7, 2021. The golfers will play 18 holes each day for four days, and the player with the lowest total score after 72 holes will win the gold medal.
US Golfers’ Past Performances in the Olympics
Golf was reintroduced to the Olympics in 2016 after a 112-year absence, and the United States had a strong showing in the men’s tournament. Justin Rose of Great Britain won the gold medal, but the United States took home the silver and bronze medals, with Matt Kuchar and Patrick Reed respectively. Bubba Watson was the fourth American in the field and finished tied for eighth.
On the women’s side, the United States did not medal in 2016. Stacy Lewis, Gerina Piller, and Lexi Thompson represented the United States in the women’s tournament, finishing tied for fourth, tied for 11th, and tied for 19th respectively. However, with a strong contingent of top-ranked golfers, the United States has a good chance to medal in both the men’s and women’s tournaments at the Tokyo Olympics.
Who Will Represent the US in Golf at the Olympics?
The United States has a deep pool of talented golfers to choose from, making the selection process for the Olympic team a difficult one. However, there are a few golfers who are likely to be at the top of the list for consideration.
On the men’s side, Justin Thomas is currently the highest-ranked American golfer in the world and is almost certain to be selected for the Olympic team. Other top American golfers who are likely to be in consideration include Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele, and Collin Morikawa. Other potential candidates for the Olympic team include Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, and Brooks Koepka.
On the women’s side, Nelly Korda is currently the top-ranked American golfer in the world and is expected to be a strong contender for the Olympic team. Other top American golfers who are likely to be in consideration include Danielle Kang, Lexi Thompson, and Jessica Korda. Other potential candidates for the Olympic team include Jennifer Kupcho, Ally Ewing, and Austin Ernst.
The return of golf to the Olympics has given golfers from around the world a chance to compete for a gold medal on one of the biggest stages in sports. With the Tokyo Olympics just around the corner, golf fans around the world are eagerly anticipating the start of the tournament.
The United States has a long and storied history in golf, and American golfers are expected to be among the top contenders for the gold medal in both the men’s and women’s tournaments. With a strong field of top-ranked golfers to choose from, the selection process for the US Olympic team is sure to be a difficult one. However, no matter who is ultimately selected to represent the United States in golf at the Tokyo Olympics, they will undoubtedly be among the best golfers in the world and will have a great chance to bring home a medal for their country.