Golf at the Olympics is great for the sport

(From left) Sweden's Henrik Stenson (silver), Britain's Justin Rose (gold) and USA's Matt Kuchar (bronze) pose with their medals at the 2016 Olympics. (AFP file )
(From left) Sweden's Henrik Stenson (silver), Britain's Justin Rose (gold) and USA's Matt Kuchar (bronze) pose with their medals at the 2016 Olympics. (AFP file )

Dubai - Both the men's and women's Olympic competitions will be 72 hole strokeplay tournaments

By Fairway Views/Nick Tarratt

Published: Tue 15 Jun 2021, 8:18 PM

Golf at the 2020 Olympics hits its first tee shot in just a few weeks on July 29.

The Women’s Competition begins on August 4, a week later.

The qualification for the men’s competition ends on June 21 , one day after the end of the US Open (June 17-20).

The qualification for the women’s competition ends on June 28, just one week later.

In 2016, Justin Rose of Great Britain took the gold medal and was on the podium with Henrik Stenson of Sweden and Matt Kuchar of the US.

What is the state of play for next month’s event?

How do players qualify and who is going to play?

Both the men’s and women’s Olympic competitions will be 72 hole strokeplay tournaments held at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kasahata, Saitama, Japan, about 35 miles of Tokyo. There is no prize money.

The field in both events will consist of 60 players representing their respective home countries.

How to qualify?

The top 15 players in the Olympic Golf Rankings (which essentially mirror the OWGR for Men and the Rolex Ranking for Women) will qualify.

After the top 15, the field will be filled until getting to 60 golfers, 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.

In the writer’s opinion, golf in the Olympics is currently not creating a buzz of the usual Olympics.

Is that because of the Covid challenges in Japan?

Adam Scott Australia and Dustin Johnson of the US have already confirmed that they will not participate for personal reasons.

It will be interesting to watch this week who performs well at Torrey Pines in this week’s third major in the US Open.

There is a concern with this being such a hugely congested calendar in 2021 with The Open at Royal St Georges, England finishing on July 18t.

The next key event on players’ schedules post golf at the Olympics begins on August 5 at the WGC–FedEx St Jude Invitational Classic in Memphis, Tennessee.

With Ryder Cup points, OWGR points, Race to Dubai points and Fedex Cup points all so important at present, players trying to retain cards and move up the golfing ladder or at least holding their status.

We all appreciate that golf is back in the Olympics following the huge success in 2016.

Let’s all hope it is just as successful and that it continues to go from strength to strength.

Golf needs to stay in the Olympics to attract a new audience as innovation and new forms of golf are created to keep up with other sports who are also striving to attract the same audience with especially shorter forms of their respective games.

Let's hope the players acknowledge and understand that none of us can take our eyes off the golf ball for the good of the game, short-term and long-term.

International Golf Tournaments This Week

PGA Tour

Thurs 17th – Sun 20th June, 2021

US Open (Major)

Venue: Torrey Pines, California, US

Purse: $12.5 million


Thurs 17th – Sun 20th June, 2021

Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give

Venue: Grand Rapids, Mi, US

Purse: $2.3 million

PGA Champions Tour

Monday 21st June, 2021

Senior Open Qualifier at Firestone

Firestone CC (West Course), Akron, OH, US

Challenge Tour

Tues 15th – Friday 18th June, 2021

Challenge de Espana

Venue: Iberostar Real Club de Golf Novo Sancti Petri, Cadiz, Spain

Purse: €200k

Legends Tour

Thurs 17th – Sun 20th June, 2021

Farmfoods European Legends Championship

Venue: Trevose Golf & Country Club, England

Purse: €200k

EAGL Mini-Series

Sunday 20th June, 2021

Venue: Fire course, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai

Live on Dubai Sports Channel: 15.15 – 18.50.

Purse: Amateurs only.

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