Tiger Woods would earn a spot in the field at the 2016 Rio Olympics and Phil Mickelson wouldn't, at last based on this week's initial Olympic Golf Qualification rankings.
The Olympic rankings are based on the Official World Golf Ranking, which takes into account two years of play and is notable mostly for its sometimes glacial pace of change. At the Olympics, each country will be limited to four representatives. That means Mickelson (13th in the World Golf Ranking), Jordan Spieth (11th) and Zach Johnson (14th) would not make the cut. Instead, Tiger (9th) would be joined in Rio by Bubba Watson (6th), Matt Kuchar (7th) and Jim Furyk (10th).
The Olympics seems more committed to diversity than the strongest field for the 72-hole, stroke-play event. Belgium, for example, would land Nicolas Colsaerts (164th in the WGR) and Thomas Pieters (290th) in the field.
Granted, we are looking at the qualifiers more than two years away from the actual event, which will be played in August of 2016. Official rankings began July 14 and will last until July 11, 2016. There is still plenty of time for players to earn their spots — or lose them.
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