The Road To Tokyo
March 24, 2020

Olympic Golf 2020: How players qualify to compete in Tokyo (and the latest rankings)


Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

UPDATED, March 24 — The International Olympic Committee announced it was postponing the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. "In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community." The men's and women's golf tournaments will accordingly be delayed. Specifics on new dates and who qualifying will proceed will be determined at a later time.

Making a memorable return to the Olympics in 2016 after an 112-year absence, golf will be part of the Summer Games again this July in Tokyo. 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 four years ago 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? Or more to the point for some people, will Tiger Woods be playing for the United States this summer? The answer is … maybe. It all depends on where Woods ranks in the Olympic Golf Rankings on the final date of qualifying in June—or more specifically where he ranks in relations to the other eligible American golfers.

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 16). 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. (Spoiler alert: Woods is on the outside looking in right now.)

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 22, the day after the U.S. Open; women’s qualifying ends June 29). The men’s competition will be held July 30-Aug. 2; the women’s Aug. 5-8.

MEN (World Ranking in parenthesis)

This week's changes:
In: Patrick Reed, United States
Out: Webb Simpson, United States

Emiliano Grillo (130)

Adam Scott (6)
Marc Leishman (15)
Next in line: Cameron Smith (35), Jason Day (51), Lucas Herbert (64)

Bernd Wiesberger (26)
Matthias Schwab (82)
Next in line: Sepp Straka (181)

Thomas Pieters (73)
Thomas Detry (114)
Next in line: Nicolas Colsaerts (204)

Adam Hadwin (55)
Corey Conners (66)
Next in line: Nick Taylor (102)

Joaquin Niemann (78)

Haotong Li (87)
Xinjun Zhang (138)

Chinese Taipei
C.T. Pan (99)

Sebastian Munoz (94)

Lucas Bjerregaard (119)
Thorbjorn Olesen (147)
Next in line: Rasmus Hojgaard (184)

Mikko Korhonen (150)
Sami Valimaki (161)
Next in line: Kalle Samooja (179)

Victor Perez (40)
Michael Lorenzo-Vera (75)
Next in line: Benjamin Hebert (93), Romain Langasque (121)

Martin Kaymer (115)
Sebastian Heisele (210)

Great Britain
Tommy Fleetwood (10)
Justin Rose (14)
Next in line: Tyrrell Hatton (21), Paul Casey (24), Matthew Fitzpatrick (25), Lee Westwood (31), Danny Willett (33)

Rashid Khan (185) Udayan Mane (223)

Rory McIlroy (1)
Shane Lowry (20)
Next in line: Graeme McDowell (49)

Francesco Molinari (28)
Andrea Pavan (105)
Next in line: Guido Migliozzi (125), Francesco Laporta (128)

Hideki Matsuyama (22)
Shugo Imahira (41)
Next in line: Ryo Ishikawa (97)

Gavin Kyle Green (142)

Abraham Ancer (29)
Carlos Ortiz (129)

Joost Luiten (98)
Darius Van Driel (239)

New Zealand
Danny Lee (88)
Ryan Fox (131)

Viktor Hovland (57)
Kristoffer Ventura (192)

The Philippines
Miguel Tabuena (252)

Adrian Meronk (249)

Rory Sabbatini (103)

South Africa
Louis Oosthuizen (19)
Erik van Rooyen (42)
Next in line: Christiaan Bezuidenhout (47), Shaun Norris (60), Branden Grace (74), Justin Harding (111)

South Korea
Sungjae Im (23)
Byeong Hun An (50)
Next in line: Sung Kang (52)

Jon Rahm (2)
Sergio Garcia (38)
Next in line: Rafa Cabrera-Bello (46)

Henrik Stenson (32)
Marcus Kinhult (90)
Next in line: Alex Noren (112)

Jazz Janewattananond (39)
Gunn Chareonkul (132)
Next in line: Kiradech Aphibarnrat (145)

United States
Brooks Koepka (3)
Justin Thomas (4)
Patrick Cantlay (6)
Patrick Reed (7)
Next in line: Webb Simpson (9), Tiger Woods (11), Xander Schauffele (12), Bryson DeChambeau (13), Tony Finau (16)

Jhonattan Vegas (163)

Scott Vincent (156)


Scott Halleran

WOMEN (Rolex Rankings in parenthesis)

This week's changes:
In: None Out: None

Minjee Lee (8)
Hannah Green (21)
Next in line: Su-Hyun Oh (57), Katherine Kirk (113)

Christine Wolf (201)

Manon De Roey (199)

Brooke Henderson (7)
Alena Sharp (106)

Shanshan Feng (23)
Yu Liu (35)
Next in line: Jing Yan (75)

Chinese Taipei
Teresa Lu (87)
Wei-Ling Hsu (107)

Mariajo Uribe (180)

Czech Republic
Klara Spilkova (240)

Nanna Koerstz Madsen (61)
Nicole Broch Larsen (68)

Daniela Darquea (200)

Sanna Nuutinen (293)
Ursula Wikstrom (304)

Celine Boutier (45)
Perrine Delacour (143)

Caroline Masson (36)
Esther Henseleit (120)
Next in line: Olivia Cowan (159), Sandra Gal (187)

Great Britain
Charley Hull (25)
Bronte Law (34)
Next in line: Georgia Hall (39), Jodi Shadoff (77)

Hong Kong
Tiffany Chan (196)

Aditi Ashok (148)
Diksha Dagar (317)

Stephanie Meadow (193)
Leona Maguire (213)

Giulia Molinaro (244)

Nasa Hataoka (4)
Hinako Shibuno (12)
Ai Suzuki (14)
Next in line: Mone Inami (59), Yui Kawamoto (62), Momoko Ueda (63)

Kelly Tan (385)

Gaby Lopez (42)
Maria Fassi (239)

The Netherlands
Anne van Dam (85)

New Zealand
Lydia Ko (49)

Marianna Skarpnord (152)
Tonje Daffinrud (310)

Julieta Granada (327)

The Philippines
Yuka Saso (259)
Dottie Ardina (288)
Next in line: Clariss Guce (298)

Puerto Rico
Maria Fernanda Torres (136)

Slovenia Katja Pogacar (373)

South Africa
Ashleigh Buhai (104)
Lee-Anne Pace (313)

South Korea
Jin Young Ko (1)
Sung Hyun Park (3)
Sei Young Kim (6)
Jeongeun Lee6 (10)
Next in line: Inbee Park (11), Hyo-Joo Kim (13), So Yeon Ryu (18), Mi Hur (20), Amy Yang (22)

Carlota Ciganda (15)
Azahara Munoz (44)

Albane Valenzuela (394)

Madelene Sagstrom (51)
Anna Nordqvist (95)
Next in line: Caroline Hedwall (126)

Ariya Jutanugarn (17)
Moriya Jutanugarn (37)
Next in line: Pornanong Phatlum (93)

United States
Nelly Korda (2)
Danielle Kang (5)
Lexi Thompson (9)
Next in line: Jessica Korda (16), Lizette Salas (19), Brittany Altomare (28), Marina Alex (29), Angel Yin (40)

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