Seven of the top ten players in the Official World Golf Rankings may not be allowed to compete in the men’s Olympics in Tokyo this week, but that does not mean that England’s Tommy Fleetwood and others do not have the time of their lives.
None of the three medal winners from the Rio Games play five years ago, so three different players will be on the medal podium on Sunday.
Here’s a look at who’s participating, starting Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. ET at Kasumigaseki Country Club’s East Track.
Level I: Players who can win gold
These include PGA Tour stars and major championship winners. They are some of the best players in the world and will receive a gold medal.
Collin Morikawa (US)
The 25-year-old has already won two majors in his first three – the 2020 PGA Championship at Harding Park and The Open at Royal St. George’s last month. Strikingly, he was an amateur just two years ago. His father, Blaine, is of Japanese descent.
Hideki Matsuyama (Japan)
Matsuyama, 29, became a national hero in April when he became the first Japanese man to win a major when he won the Masters. Now he will try to win a gold medal on his own soil. He still has a permanent home in Sendai, which is about 230 kilometers northeast of Tokyo.
Justin Thomas (US)
The former Alabama star loves to play in Asia. His first two PGA tournaments were at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia and in 2017 and 2019 at the CJ Cup at Nine Bridge in South Korea.
Xander Schauffele (US)
It’s probably a good bet that Schauffele will finish on the medal podium. Starting in 18 majors careers, he finished in the top 10 in nine of them, including two seconds and two thirds. Just no wins.
Patrick Reed (US)
The man named ‘Captain America’ during the Ryder Cup was a last-minute addition to the Olympic field after DeChambeau withdrew. Reed drew 11th at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. He will leave for Japan on Tuesday and play a course he has never seen before.
Rory McIlroy (Ireland)
McIlroy, who is a dual citizen of Ireland and England and lives in Florida, admitted that he is not much of a ‘patriotic man’ when asked about the Olympics at The Open. He said he was going to Tokyo to represent the golf game more than anything else. McIlroy withdrew from the 2016 Olympics due to concerns about the Zika virus.
Viktor Hovland (Norway)
While the Norwegians did much more damage during the Winter Olympics, they won 56 gold medals at the Summer Games, more than half with 30 shooting and sailing competitions. Hovland, from Oslo, is trying to become the first golfer of his homeland. land to win a medal.
Abraham Ancer (Mexico)
Ancer was born in McAllen, Texas and grew up in Mexico, so he has dual citizenship in the US and Mexico. The former Oklahoma star has said he considers the Olympics the “fifth major” if it is played every four years.
Sungjae Im (South Korea)
Talk about motivation. If Im, 23, wins a medal in Tokyo, the South Korean government will relinquish its compulsory military service. Otherwise, he would have to serve two years in the military before turning 28, just like every other man in his homeland.
Cameron Smith (Australia)
The Australian has already made an impressive cut. He celebrates his debut at the Olympics by shaving ‘AUS’ into the side of his famous mule.
– Golf Australia ⛳️ (@GolfAust) 24 July 2021
Tommy Fleetwood (England)
While English Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Fitzpatrick and Lee Westwood decided to skip the Olympics, Fleetwood said Rose encouraged him to go. While Fleetwood has never won a PGA Tour event, he has won in Scotland, the United Arab Emirates, France, South Africa and Kazakhstan.
Shane Lowry (Ireland)
The winner of The Open in Royal Portrush in 2019 said he was not going to Tokyo on my vacation. I’m going there to win a medal. “He becomes the first Irishman to win gold since boxer Michael Carruth in 1992 in Barcelona.
Marc Leishman (Australia)
The six-time PGA Tour had to skip the Rio Games due to concerns about the Zika virus. His wife at the time was still struggling with the effects of sepsis. He said winning a gold medal would be above any victory in his career.
Corey Conners (Canada)
Conners and Canadian teammate Mackenzie Hughes grew up playing junior golf together and both attended Kent State. Before Rose won in Rio, George Lyon in Canada was the last man to win an Olympic gold medal in golf in 1904 at St. Louis.
Joaquin Niemann (Chile)
Niemann becomes the first Chilean to win the PGA Tour with his victory over A Military Tribute on The Greenbrier. Chile won two gold medals at the Summer Olympics – both in men’s tennis in 2004 in Athens.
Level II: Players who can win medals
These include emerging PGA Tour stars and some of the best players on the European Tour. They may be fighting for a silver or bronze medal.
Garrick Higgo (South Africa)
Higgo (22) qualified for the team after the country’s best player, Louis Oosthuizen, excluded (he was almost guaranteed to win silver, given how often he was the runner-up on majors this year). Higgo won the European Tour twice in three weeks in May and then won the Palmetto Championship at Congaree in his second PGA Tour.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout (South Africa)
He won consecutive tournaments on the European tour at the end of last year – the Alfred Dunhill Championship and the South African Open. He started the first 10 tournament in the 12 tour this season.
Si Woo Kim (South Korea)
Like Im, Kim can avoid compulsory military service by medaling at the Olympics. This will be the 26-year-old’s last chance before he turns 28.
Carlos Ortiz (Mexico)
Ortiz, who played in North Texas and lives in Dallas, became only the third Mexican to win the PGA Tour when he won the Houston Open in 2020.
Mackenzie Hughes (Canada)
Hughes had a productive summer, and he was 15th at the US Open and was sixth at The Open.
Sebastian Munoz (Colombia)
Another North Texas product, Munoz, has started nine top-25 rounds in 29 on tour this season.
Guido Migliozzi (Italy)
A two-time winner on the European Tour, Migliozzi took fourth place in a major for the first time during the US Open at Torrey Pines. This gave him an exemption for next year’s Masters and US Open.
Rikuya Hoshino (Japan)
Hoshino, 25, has won the Japan Golf Tour five times. He finished 26th at the U.S. Open in Torrey Pines, the first time he made the cut on a major.
Alex Noren (Sweden)
Noren has big shoes to fill. Sweden’s Henrik Stenson won the silver medal in Rio, finishing two strokes behind Rose.
Thomas Pieters (Belgium)
Pieters, who won the NCAA individual championship in 2012, nailed the medal in 2016 nail-bitingly. He finished fourth, four strokes behind the bronze medal winner. Matt Kuchar.
Mite Pereira (Chile)
Pereira, a friend of Niemann’s, was the only 12th player in history to achieve an automatic promotion to the PGA Tour by winning three times in one season at the Korn Ferry Tournament. He finished fifth at the Barbasol Championships in July.
Antoine Rozner (France)
A two-time winner on the European Tour, Rozner finished 59th at The Open.
Matthias Schwab (Austria)
Schwab, who was a two-time American at Vanderbilt, has yet to win on the European tour.
Rasmus Hojgaard (Denmark)
Hojgaard was the third youngest winner in European tour history when he won the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open in 2019 at 18, 271 days old. He added a second win in August.
Jhonattan vegas (Venezuela)
Vegas was the first Venezuelan golfer to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. He finished tied for 50th place with a 72-hole total of 289.
Henrik Norlander (Sweden)
Norlander has made 15 of 28 cuts on the tour this season, including a draw for the second time during the Farmers Insurance Open in January.
Rory Sabbatini (Slovakia)
Sabbatini, who was born in South Africa, became a citizen of Slovakia in 2019. His wife, Martina Stofanikova, is from Slovakia.
Sepp Straka (Austria)
Straka, who played in Georgia, tied for tenth place at the Travelers Championship in June, his third top-10 on tour this season.
Ryan Fox (New Zealand)
Fox, who won one European Tour, finished 39th in Rio.
CT Pan (Taiwan)
Pan wins his first PGA Tour event at the 2019 RBC Heritage. He equaled 30th place at the 2016 Olympics.
Level III: Enjoy the opening and closing ceremonies
These players are not expected to contest a medal, but they will still enjoy the Olympic experience and retain the swing.
Jazz Janewattananond (Thailand)
Adri Arnaus (Spain)
The former Texas A&M star has three runners-up in his first full season on the European tour.
Ondrej Lieser (Czech Republic)
He was the first Czech golfer to win on the Challenge Tour and the first to earn a full playing card on the European Tour in 2019.
Fabrizio Zanotti (Paraguay)
Zanotti, a two-time winner on the European tour, carried his country’s flag during the opening ceremonies with tennis player Veronica Cepede. Zanotti finished 15th in the Rio Games.