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

March 17, 2021

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Justin Rose of Great Britain celebrates with the gold medal, Henrik Stenson (L) of Sweden the silver, and Matt Kuchar of the United States with the bronze after the final round of men's golf competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

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 publication of the Olympic Golf Rankings (March 17). 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)

Emiliano Grillo (145)
Fabian Gomez (306)

Adam Scott (25)
Cameron Smith (27)
Next in line: Marc Leishman (39), Jason Day (47), Lucas Herbert (70)

Bernd Wiesberger (45)
Matthias Schwab (109)
Next in line: Sepp Straka (151)

Thomas Pieters (73)
Thomas Detry (75)

Corey Conners (41)
Mackenzie Hughes (53)
Next in line: Adam Hadwin (91)

Czech Republic
Ondrej Liese (186)

Joaquin Niemann (29)

Haotong Li (233)
Xinjun Zhang (249)
Next in line: Ashun Wu (287)

Chinese Taipei
C.T. Pan (171)

Sebastian Munoz (61)

Rasmus Hojgaard (84)
Joachim B. Hansen (150)

Sami Valimaki (88)
Kalle Samooja (135)
Next in line: Mikko Korhonen (214)

Victor Perez (33)
Antoine Rozner (63)
Next in line: Michael Lorenzo-Vera (138), Romain Langasque (141), Benjamin Hebert (161)

Martin Kaymer (89)
Sebastian Heisele (234)
Next in line: Stephan Jaeger (240)

Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Tyrrell Hatton (8)
Matthew Fitzpatrick (16)
Next in line: Paul Casey (17), Lee Westwood (19), Tommy Fleetwood (22), Justin Rose (38), Robert MacIntyre (44)

Rory McIlroy (11)
Shane Lowry (40)
Next in line: Graeme McDowell (117)

Francesco Molinari (95)
Renato Paratore (167)
Next in line: Guido Migliozzi (170), Francesco Laporta (187),

Hideki Matsuyama (23)
Shugo Imahira (74)
Next in line: Takumi Kanaya (110), Ryo Ishikawa (119), Rikuya Hoshino (132)

Gavin Kyle Green (218)

Abraham Ancer (28)
Carlos Ortiz (46)

The Netherlands
Joost Luiten (185)
Wil Besseling (197)

New Zealand
Danny Lee (165)
Ryan Fox (174)

Viktor Hovland (14)
Kristoffer Ventura (222)

Fabrizio Zanotti (252)

Adrian Meronk (210)

Rory Sabbatini (116)

South Africa
Louis Oosthuizen (23)
Christiaan Bezuidenhout (35)
Next in line: Erik van Rooyen (66), Dylan Frittelli (69), Brendan Grace (80), George Coetze (82)

South Korea
Sungjae Im (18)
Si Woo Kim (48)
Next in line: Byeong Hun An (86), Sung Kang (130)

Jon Rahm (3)
Sergio Garcia (42)
Next in line: Rafa Cabrera-Bello (103)

Alex Noren (94)
Henrik Stenson (97)
Next in line: Henrik Norlander (101), Marcus Kinhult (140)

Jazz Janewattananond (112)
Gunn Chareonkul (172)

United States
Justin Thomas (2)
Collin Morikawa (4)
Bryson DeChambeau (5)
Xander Schauffele (6)
Next in line: Patrick Reed (7), Patrick Cantlay (9), Webb Simpson (10), Brooks Koepka (12), Tony Finau (13)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Despite being the No. 1 ranked player in the world, and thus would qualify for the U.S. team, Dustin Johnson is not listed in the official Olympic Rankings because in 2020 he said that he would not compete in the games.

Jhonattan Vegas (179)

Scott Vincent (242)

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Scott Halleran

Silver medalist Lydia Ko of New Zealand, gold medalist Inbee Park of South Korea and bronze medalist Shanshan Feng of China pose by the Olympic rings after Women's Golf competition at the 2016 Rio games.

WOMEN (Rolex Rankings in parenthesis)

Magdalena Simmermacher (387)

Minjee Lee (8)
Hannah Green (20)
Next in line: Katherine Kirk (83), Su-Hyun Oh (84)

Christine Wolf (258)

Manon De Roey (228)

Brooke Henderson (6)
Alena Sharp (106)

Shanshan Feng (33)
Yu Liu (58)
Next in line: Xiyu Lin (92), Jing Yan (111)

Chinese Taipei
Teresa Lu (134)
Wei-Ling Hsu (136)

Mariajo Uribe (225)

Czech Republic
Klara Spilkova (294)

Emily Kristine Pedersen (68)
Nanna Koerstz Madsen (77)
Next in line: Nicole Larsen (102)

Daniela Darquea (284)

Matilda Castrren (209)
Sanna Nuutinen (242)

Celine Boutier (60)
Perrine Delacour (94)

Sophia Popov (23)
Caroline Masson (51)

Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Charley Hull (35)
Melissa Reid (37)
Next in line: Georgia Hall (41), Bronte Law (76), Jodi Shadoff (78)

Hong Kong
Tiffany Chan (262)

Aditi Ashok (170)

Stephanie Meadow (121)
Leona Maguire (128)

Giulia Molinaro (342)

Nasa Hataoka (7)
Hinako Shibuno (15)
Next in line: Ayaka Furue (22), Ai Suzuki (26)

Kelly Tan (146)

Gaby Lopez (57)
Maria Fassi (138)

Maha Haddioui (400)

The Netherlands
Anne van Dam (103)

New Zealand
Lydia Ko (21)

Marianna Skarpnord (201)
Tonje Daffinrud (368)

The Philippines
Yuka Saso (44)
Bianca Pagdanganan (148)

Puerto Rico
Maria Fernanda Torres (131)

South Africa
Ashleigh Buhai (63)
Lee-Anne Pace (276)

South Korea
Jin Young Ko (1)
Sei Young Kim (2)
Inbee Park (4)
Hyo-Joo Kim (9)
Next in line: Sung Hyun Park (11), Jeongeun Lee6 (13), So Yeon Ryu (16), Hae Ryu (19), Hana Jang (24)

Carlota Ciganda (18)
Azahara Munoz (75)

Anna Nordqvist (56)
Madelene Sagstrom (71)
Next in line: Linnea Strom (125), Caroline Hedwall (142)

Albane Valenzuela (190)

Ariya Jutanugarn (25)
Moriya Jutanugarn (43)
Next in line: Jasmine Suwannapura (74)

United States
Nelly Korda (3)
Danielle Kang (5)
Lexi Thompson (10)
Jennifer Kupcho (11)
Next in line: Austin Ernst (14), Jessica Korda (17), Stacy Lewis (32), Ally Ewing (34), Lizette Salas (36)