Seven of the highest 10 gamers within the Official World Golf Rating might not be competing within the males’s match on the Tokyo Olympics this week, however that does not imply England’s Tommy Fleetwood and others aren’t having the time of their lives.
Australia’s Cameron Smith is displaying his nationwide satisfaction in an uncommon method. After all, nobody within the 60-man discipline has extra at stake than South Korea’s Sungjae Im and Si Woo Kim.
Not one of the three medalists from the Rio Video games 5 years in the past are taking part in, so three completely different gamers shall be standing on the medal podium on Sunday.
Here is a take a look at who’s competing, beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday on the Kasumigaseki Nation Membership’s East Course.
Tier I: Gamers who can win gold
They embody PGA Tour stars and main championship winners. They’re among the finest gamers on the planet and can contend for a gold medal.
Collin Morikawa (U.S.)
The 25-year-old has already gained two majors on his first strive — the 2020 PGA Championship at Harding Park and The Open at Royal St. George’s final month. Remarkably, he was an beginner simply two years in the past. His father, Blaine, is of Japanese descent.
Hideki Matsuyama (Japan)
Matsuyama, 29, grew to become a nationwide hero in April, when he grew to become the primary Japanese man to win a serious when he gained the Masters. Now, he’ll attempt to win a gold medal on his native soil. He nonetheless has a everlasting residence in Sendai, which is about 230 miles northeast of Tokyo.
Justin Thomas (U.S.)
The previous Alabama star loves taking part in in Asia. His first two PGA Tour victories had been on the CIMB Traditional in Malaysia and on the CJ Cup at 9 Bridge in South Korea in 2017 and 2019.
Xander Schauffele (U.S.)
It is most likely a superb guess that Schauffele will wind up on the medal podium. In 18 profession begins in majors, he completed within the prime 10 in 9 of them, together with two seconds and two thirds. Simply no wins.
Patrick Reed (U.S.)
The person who is named “Captain America” through the Ryder Cup was a last-minute addition to the Olympic discipline after DeChambeau withdrew. Reed tied for eleventh on the 2016 Olympic match in Brazil. He is scheduled to go away for Japan on Tuesday and can play a course he is by no means seen.
Rory McIlroy (Eire)
McIlroy admitted he isn’t much of a “patriotic guy” when requested concerning the Olympics at The Open. He mentioned he was going to Tokyo to signify the sport of golf greater than the rest. McIlroy pulled out of the 2016 Olympics due to issues concerning the Zika virus.
Viktor Hovland (Norway)
Whereas Norwegians have completed much more injury on the Winter Olympics, they’ve gained 56 gold medals on the Summer time Video games, with capturing and crusing combining for greater than half with 30. Hovland, from Oslo, is trying to develop into the primary golfer from his homeland to win a medal.
Abraham Ancer (Mexico)
Ancer was born in McAllen, Texas and raised in Mexico, so he has twin citizenship within the U.S. and Mexico. The previous Oklahoma star mentioned he thought-about the Olympics the “fifth main” when it is performed each 4 years.
Sungjae Im (South Korea)
Discuss motivation. If Im, 23, wins a medal in Tokyo, the South Korean authorities will waive his obligatory navy obligation. In any other case, he’ll need to serve two years within the navy earlier than he turns 28 similar to each different man in his homeland.
Cameron Smith (Australia)
The Australian has already made a formidable reduce. He celebrated his Olympics debut by shaving “AUS” into the aspect of his well-known mullet.
— Golf Australia ⛳️ (@GolfAust) July 24, 2021
Tommy Fleetwood (England)
Whereas Englishmen Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Fitzpatrick and Lee Westwood determined to skip the Olympics, Fleetwood mentioned Rose inspired him to go. Whereas Fleetwood has by no means gained on the PGA Tour, he has gained in Scotland, United Arab Emirates, France, South Africa and Kazakhstan.
Shane Lowry (Eire)
The winner of The Open at Royal Portrush in 2019 mentioned he wasn’t going to Tokyo “on my holidays. I am going there to win a medal.” He would develop into the primary Irishman to win gold since boxer Michael Carruth at Barcelona in 1992.
Marc Leishman (Australia)
The six-time PGA Tour winner was compelled to skip the Rio Video games due to issues concerning the Zika virus. His spouse was nonetheless battling the results of sepsis on the time. He mentioned successful a gold medal would rank above any victory in his profession.
Corey Conners (Canada)
Conners and Canadian teammate Mackenzie Hughes grew up taking part in junior golf collectively and each attended Kent State. Earlier than Rose gained in Rio, Canada’s George Lyon was the final man to win an Olympic gold medal in golf at St. Louis in 1904.
Joaquin Niemann (Chile)
Niemann grew to become the primary Chilean to win on the PGA Tour together with his victory at A Navy Tribute at The Greenbrier. Chile has gained two gold medals on the Summer time Olympics — each in males’s tennis in Athens in 2004.
Tier II: Gamers who can medal
They embody rising PGA Tour stars and among the European Tour’s finest gamers. They may contend for a silver or bronze medal.
Garrick Higgo (South Africa)
Higgo, 22, certified for the staff after the nation’s top-rated participant, Louis Oosthuizen, opted out (he was practically assured to win silver given how usually he has been a runner-up this yr at majors). Higgo gained twice in three weeks on the European Tour in Might after which gained the Palmetto Championship at Congaree in his second PGA Tour begin.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout (South Africa)
He gained consecutive tournaments on the European Tour on the finish of final yr — the Alfred Dunhill Championship and the South African Open. He has one top-10 end in 12 tour begins this season.
Si Woo Kim (South Korea)
Like Im, Kim can keep away from obligatory navy service by medaling on the Olympics. This would be the 26-year-old’s final probability earlier than he turns 28.
Carlos Ortiz (Mexico)
Ortiz, who performed at North Texas and lives in Dallas, grew to become solely the third Mexican to win on the PGA Tour when he gained the 2020 Houston Open.
Mackenzie Hughes (Canada)
Hughes has had a productive summer time, ending tied for fifteenth within the U.S. Open and tied for sixth at The Open.
Sebastian Munoz (Colombia)
One other North Texas product, Munoz has 9 top-25 finishes in 29 begins on tour this season.
Guido Migliozzi (Italy)
A two-time winner on the European Tour, Migliozzi tied for fourth on the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in his first profession begin in a serious. That earned him an exemption into subsequent yr’s Masters and U.S. Open.
Rikuya Hoshino (Japan)
Hoshino, 25, is a five-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour. He tied for twenty sixth on the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, the primary time he made the reduce at a serious.
Alex Noren (Sweden)
Noren has massive sneakers to fill. Sweden’s Henrik Stenson gained the silver medal in Rio, ending two photographs behind Rose.
Thomas Pieters (Belgium)
Pieters, who gained the 2012 NCAA particular person championship, narrowly missed making the medal stand in 2016. He completed fourth, 4 photographs behind bronze medal winner Matt Kuchar.
Mito Pereira (Chile)
A childhood pal of Niemann’s, Pereira grew to become solely the twelfth participant in historical past to earn an automated promotion to the PGA Tour by successful 3 times on the Korn Ferry Tour in a single season. He tied for fifth on the Barbasol Championship in July.
Antoine Rozner (France)
A two-time winner on the European Tour, Rozner tied for 59th at The Open.
Matthias Schwab (Austria)
Schwab, who was a two-time All-American at Vanderbilt, hasn’t but gained on the European Tour.
Rasmus Hojgaard (Denmark)
Hojgaard was the third-youngest winner in European Tour historical past when he gained the 2019 AfrAsia Financial institution Mauritius Open at 18 years, 271 days previous. He added a second victory the next August.
Jhonattan Vegas (Venezuela)
Vegas was the primary Venezuelan golfer to compete within the Olympics in Rio in 2016. He completed tied for fiftieth with a 72-hole whole of 289.
Henrik Norlander (Sweden)
Norlander has made 15 of 28 cuts on tour this season, together with a tie for second on the Farmers Insurance coverage Open in January.
Rory Sabbatini (Slovakia)
Sabbatini, who was born in South Africa, grew to become a citizen of Slovakia in 2019. His spouse, Martina Stofanikova, is from Slovakia.
Sepp Straka (Austria)
Straka, who performed at Georgia, tied for tenth on the Vacationers Championship in June, his third top-10 on tour this season.
Ryan Fox (New Zealand)
Fox, who has one victory on the European Tour, tied for thirty ninth at Rio.
C.T. Pan (Taiwan)
Pan earned his first PGA Tour victory on the 2019 RBC Heritage. He tied for thirtieth on the 2016 Olympics.
Tier III: Benefit from the opening and shutting ceremonies
These gamers aren’t anticipated to contend for a medal, however they will nonetheless get to benefit from the Olympic expertise and hold the swag.
Jazz Janewattananond (Thailand)
Adri Arnaus (Spain)
The previous Texas A&M star has three runners-up finishes in his first full season on the European Tour.
Ondrej Lieser (Czech Republic)
He was the primary Czech golfer to win on the Problem Tour and the primary to earn a full taking part in card on the European Tour in 2019.
Fabrizio Zanotti (Paraguay)
Zanotti, a two-time winner on the European Tour, carried his nation’s flag through the opening ceremonies, together with tennis participant Veronica Cepede. Zanotti completed tied for fifteenth on the Rio Video games.