The International Golf Federation announced the qualification system to be used for golf in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and some top American players might find themselves sitting at home.
Golf will be played at the Olympics for the first since the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis, and will feature men's and women's individual events. Both events will have 60 players competing in a 72-hole stroke play format competition for the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals.
According to federation rules, the 60 players will be determined by an Olympic Golf Ranking list to be published on the IGF website and is based on a player's official world golf ranking.
All players within the top-15 of the rankings as of July 11, 2016, will be eligible, with one big caveat: No more than four players can come from any one 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. If the Olympics were held today, then Bubba Watson (World Rank 4th), Matt Kuchar (5th), Tiger Woods (7th) and Jordan Spieth (10th) would make the U.S. team, while top-15 players Jim Furyk (11th), Phil Mickelson (13th) and Zach Johnson (14th) would be left out. No other country has more than two players in the top 15 in the Official World Golf Rankings.
As the host country, Brazil will be guaranteed one Brazilian female and male golfer, if not otherwise eligible.
Also of the five continents of the Olympic Movement (Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania) will have at least one golfer in each of the men’s and women’s events.
Qualifying for the Olympic Games ends July 11, 2016, and the final Olympic list will be released after that. The opening ceremonies for the Games are scheduled for Aug. 5, 2016.