Who's in, who's out

Olympics 2024: Men's qualifiers for Paris set, include four U.S. players but no DeChambeau

June 18, 2024

The United States will feature the largest contingent of golfers set to compete in the men’s competition at the 2024 Olympics in Paris. But it will not include U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau.

The International Golf Federation announced the full list of 60 qualifiers for the men’s competition that will take place Aug. 1-4 at Le Golf National. That qualification list includes players from 32 countries. Team USA is the only country that will have four players qualified, starting with World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, who will be joined by defending Olympic gold medalist Xander Schauffele (No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking), Wyndham Clark (No. 5) and Collin Morikawa (No. 7).

Under the qualification rules, all players ranked in the top 15 on the Olympic Golf Ranking, which feeds off the Official World Golf Ranking, earn spots in the field with a limit of four per country. Following that first 15, the field of 60 players is comprised of the highest-ranking players in the OWGR from each country that fill out the 60-player field, with a maximum of two players from any individual country. After his U.S. Open victory, DeChambeau rose to No. 10 in the OWGR, but among U.S. players he ranks sixth, behind the four qualifiers and Patrick Cantlay, who ranks No. 9 in the OWGR.

DeChambeau's place on the list stems from the fact he plays the majority of his golf (other than major championships) on the LIV Golf League, and its events don't earn ranking points. His 10 qualifying events have netted him 179 points this year, or more than all but four players in the current ranking. But under the ranking system rules, a player has a minimum divisor for his point total of 40 events.

It is not the first time that the reigning U.S. Open champion was not competing in the Olympics. Dustin Johnson declined the bid for the Rio Olympics in 2016, citing concerns over the Zika virus. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which was held in 2021 after being delayed by the pandemic, Jon Rahm was forced to withdraw after testing positive for COVID.

DeChambeau remarked after winning the U.S. Open on his disappointment at potentially not making the Olympic team, telling the Pat McAfee Show, “Hopefully one day this game of golf will get figured out and come back together and I will be able to play [in the Olympics].

“I'm playing great golf, I'm excited, but ultimately yeah, am I frustrated and disappointed? Sure, you could absolutely say that. But I made the choices that I made and there's consequences to that and I respect it.”

There was no comment from Team USA on DeChambeau not making the team. A press release quotes Team USA Executive Director Andy Levinson, “Since the return of golf to the Olympic Games, Team USA has reached the podium on both occasions with Matt Kuchar earning bronze in Rio and Xander Schauffele bringing home gold in Tokyo. With such a talented team going to Paris, we feel confident in Team USA’s continued success.”

Aside from the DeChambeau absence, the list of qualifiers is likely as robust and diverse as it’s ever been. More than half of the field (35 players) are currently ranked in the top 100 in the world. Eight of the top 10 players in the world ranking are on the qualifier list and 16 of the top 30. Notables from the top 40 in the world that qualified include Rory McIlroy (Ireland), Ludvig Åberg (Sweden), Viktor Hovland (Norway), Rahm (Spain), Hideki Matsuyama (Japan), Tommy Fleetwood (Great Britain), Matthew Fitzpatrick (Great Britain), Matthieu Pavon (France), Sepp Straka (Austria), Jason Day (Australia), Tom Kim (South Korea), Byeong Hun An (South Korea), Shane Lowry (Ireland), Nick Taylor (Canada), Min Woo Lee (Australia), Corey Conners (Canada) and Christiaan Bezuidenhout (South Africa).

In contrast, 13 players in the top 60 Olympic qualifiers are ranked outside the top 200 in the world. But it’s that group that provides the most traditional Olympic interest of fledgling countries competing with the golf superpowers. Those last qualifiers include Gaganjeet Bhullar of India (No. 261), Darius Van Driel of Netherlands (No. 238) and Phachara Khongwatmai of Thailand (No. 287). The lowest-ranked player to make the qualifying list is Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay, No. 343.

The final women’s Olympic Golf Ranking will be announced after this week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Following that, the IGF will send that list to the various national Olympic committees for confirmation by June 27. The IGF will publish the final field list for both the men’s and women’s golf competitions on July 2.