The first week of 2016 Olympic golf qualification is in the books, providing an extremely early glimpse of what the men’s and women’s fields could look like at the first Olympic golf tournaments since 1904.
Adam Scott and Stacy Lewis are No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking and the Rolex Rankings, respectively, and take up No. 1 on the men’s and women’s Olympic golf ranking lists. GolfChannel.com has the full men’s rankings and women’s rankings.
The rankings will change over the next two years as past tournament results lose value and results from tournaments to be played enter the equation.
The rankings are very different if you look at them from a “Race to Rio” standpoint — like the ATP’s “Race to London” — counting only tournaments played during the qualifying window, which started with last week’s events.
In that scenario, British Open winner Rory McIlroy would top the men’s rankings. He is from Northern Ireland but would represent Ireland at the Olympics, should he qualify and accept a spot.
The men’s and women’s fields for the 2016 Olympic golf tournaments are set to include a maximum of 60 players each. Everybody in the top 15 of the world rankings two years from now will be eligible, up to four per country.
After that, the fields will be filled by the next highest-ranked players with a maximum of two players per nation.
The current Official World Golf Ranking has all Americans beginning with No. 11 Jordan Spieth (and including No. 13 Phil Mickelson) on down the rankings not making the field because four other Americans are ranked higher. Yet the final man to make the field is No. 296 Ricardo Santos of Portugal.
Similarly, No. 12 Paula Creamer and every U.S. woman ranked lower than her does not make it, because there are four Americans in the top 11 of the Rolex Rankings. The last woman to make the current field, outside of the single host country spot for a Brazilian, is No. 545, Mia Piccio of the Philippines.
The men’s 72-hole, stroke-play tournament will be during the first week of the Olympics and the women’s tournament in the second week, according to reports.
The Rio Olympic Opening Ceremony is Aug. 5, 2016.