Golf Returning to the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil

For the first time since 1904, golf will return to the Olympics at the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016 and will feature women and men’s individual events. Both events will have 60 players competing in a 72-hole stroke play format competition for the medals. There will be no cut after 36 holes.

Prior to the vote to bring back golf into the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympic Games, a presentation by a group of golf ambassadors helped influence the decision of the International Olympic Committee. These ambassadors included: Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of the R&A, and Ty Votaw, Vice President of the International Golf Federation, along with several golf professionals such as 3 time major champion Padraig Harrington of Ireland, Michelle Wie of the United States, Suzann Petterson of Norway and 2009 British Amateur champion Matteo Manassero of Italy.

An indication of the game’s globalization since 1904 is that in Brazil, at least 30 countries are expected to be represented in both the women and men’s competitions, from all 5 continents represented in the Olympic Games. In 1904, 77 players from only 2 countries (Canada and USA) competed at the St. Louis Games.

Hanse Golf Course Design has designed the new golf course at RESERVA DE MARAPENDI in the Barra de Tijuca zone. The architect says that his intent is to make the course very playable, but with enough flexibility in the design that it is able to host a major championship in the future.

Hanse will have input from World Golf Hall of Fame member and five time major champion Amy Alcott on the project. The course is being built in Rio and is called The Rio 2016 Golf Club.

The International Golf Federation (IGF) will utilize the official world golf rankings to create the Olympic golf rankings as a method of determining eligibility.

The players within the top-15 of the rankings as of July 11, 2016, will be eligible. Although there will be one big particularity: No more than four players can come from the same country. The rest of the field will be determined by the world golf rankings, with a maximum of two players per country for countries that don’t have more than two players in the top-15. In addition, the host country is guaranteed at least one athlete in both the women and men’s competitions respectively, only if it does not qualify any athlete through the World Golf Rankings.

As of today the top 15 players qualified for the Olympic Games would be: Rory McIlroy (Ireland), Adam Scott (Australia), Henrik Stenson (Sweden), Bubba Watson (USA), Justin Rose (United Kingdom), Sergio Garcia (Spain), Jim Furyk (USA), Jason Day (Australia), Jordan Spieth (USA), Matt Kuchar (USA), Martin Kaymer (Germany), Victor Dubuisson (France), Hideki Matsuyama (Japan), Graeme McDowell (Ireland) and Jamie Donaldson (United Kingdom).

Tiger Woods is currently not in the selection and Rickie Fowler needs to gain one spot to make it to Rio in 2016.

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