Who’s in, who’s out: Olympic golf qualifying picture at halfway point


It’s British Open week, and this time next year at the start of the major tournament, we will know the qualifiers for the first Olympic golf fields since 1904.

The Rio 2016 golf fields — 60 men and 60 women — will come from the world golf rankings on July 11, 2016. The world golf rankings are made up of results from the previous two years of tournaments.

Therefore, half of the Olympic golf qualifying tournaments have already been played going into the 2015 British Open.

Who would make the 2016 Olympic golf fields based on the current world rankings? Scroll down.

Some notables are the oldest man — three-time major champion Vijay Singh, of Fiji, who is 52 — and the lowest-ranked man, Chilean Mark Tullo, ranked No. 321 overall.

Who wouldn’t make it? Billy Horschel (No. 11 among Americans), Phil Mickelson (No. 12 among Americans) and Tiger Woods (No. 84 among Americans) are not even close. A nation can’t have more than four men or women in the Olympic golf field (and no more than two if at least one of them is outside the top 15 in the world rankings).

If Horschel or Mickelson were from any country other than the U.S. or Australia, they would make the Olympic field if based on today’s rankings.

If Woods could pick any country not already qualified to represent, he would rank in at No. 55 in the field of 60, still making the field, barely, despite his recent rankings free fall.

On the women’s side, Michelle Wie would be the top American not to qualify, at No. 17 overall and fifth among Americans. If Wie represented any country other than the U.S. or South Korea, she would make it.

Seven-time major champion Juli Inkster, who is 55 years old and ranked No. 110, would slot in at No. 37 in the field of 60 if she represented a not-already-qualified nation.

Cheyenne Woods, who is Tiger Woods’ niece, is ranked 40th among Americans and No. 279 overall. She appears to have little chance of making the Olympics, but if she was representing a not-already-qualified nation, she would fit in the women’s field of 60 at No. 48 (higher than her uncle in the men’s field).

Then there’s former No. 1 Lorena Ochoa of Mexico. Ochoa retired five years ago but is still just 33 years old. She has said she is not tempted to come back for golf’s return to the Olympics, but if she reconsidered, her path to Rio de Janeiro would not be that difficult. Ochoa would only have to be ranked No. 414 to make the Olympic golf field if it was chosen based off today’s rankings.

1. Rory McIlroy (IRL — 1)
2. Jordan Speith (USA — 1)
3. Bubba Watson (USA — 2)
4. Dustin Johnson (USA — 3)
5. Rickie Fowler (USA — 4)
6. Henrik Stenson (SWE — 1)
7. Justin Rose (GBR — 1)
8. Jason Day (AUS — 1)
9. Sergio Garcia (ESP — 1)
10. Adam Scott (AUS — 2)
11. Hideki Matsuyama (JPN — 1)
12. Louis Oosthuizen (RSA — 1)
13. Martin Kaymer (GER — 1)
14. Bernd Wiesberger (AUT — 1)
15. Paul Casey (GBR — 2)
16. Branden Grace (RSA — 2)
17. Thongchai Jaidee (THA — 1)
18. Victor Dubuisson (FRA — 1)
19. Francesco Molinari (ITA — 1)
20. Shane Lowry (IRL — 2)
21. Joost Luiten (NED — 1)
22. Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP — 2)
23. Byeong Hun An (KOR — 1)
24. Anirban Lahiri (IND — 1)
25. Alexander Levy (FRA — 2)
26. David Lingmerth (SWE — 2)
27. Danny Lee (NZL — 1)
28. Soren Kjeldsen (DEN — 1)
29. Graham Delaet (CAN — 1)
30. Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA — 2)
31. Hiroshi Iwata (JPN — 2)
32. Marcel Siem (GER — 2)
33. Thomas Bjorn (DEN — 2)
34. Emiliano Grillo (ARG — 1)
35. Mikko Ilonen (FIN — 1)
36. Sangmoon Bae (KOR — 2)
37. Brendon de Jonge (ZIM — 1)
38. David Hearn (CAN — 2)
39. Angel Cabrera (ARG — 2)
40. Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR — 1)
41. Li Haotong (CHN — 1)
42. Carlos Ortiz (MEX — 1)
43. Wu Ashun (CHN — 2)
44. Ricardo Gouveia (POR — 1)
45. Camilo Villegas (COL — 1)
46. S.S.P Chawrasia (IND — 2)
47. Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL — 1)
48. Edoardo Molinari (ITA — 2)
49. Vijay Singh (FIJ — 1)
50. Ryan Fox (NZL — 2)
51. Angelo Que (PHI — 1)
52. Felipe Aguilar (CHI — 1)
53. Thomas Pieters (BEL — 1)
54. Mardan Mamat (SIN — 1)
55. Antonio Lascuna (PHI — 2)
56. Chan Shih-chang (TPE — 1)
57. Jhonattan Vegas (VEN — 1)
58. Adilson da Silva (BRA — 1) *Brazil automatically gets one golfer in the field
59. Siddikur Rahman (BAN — 1)
60. Mark Tullo (CHI — 2) — *No. 321 overall.

1. Inbee Park (KOR — 1)
2. Lydia Ko (NZL — 1)
3. Stacy Lewis (USA — 1)
4. Hyo-Joo Kim (KOR — 2)
5. Suzann Pettersen (NOR — 1)
6. So Yeon Ryu (KOR — 3)
7. Shanshan Fang (CHN — 1)
8. Anna Nordqvist (SWE — 1)
9. Amy Yang (KOR — 4)
10. Brittany Lincicome (USA — 2)
11. Lexi Thompson (USA — 4)
12. Cristie Kerr (USA — 3)
13. Minjee Lee (AUS — 1)
14. Karrie Webb (AUS — 2)
15. Azahara Munoz (ESP — 1)
16. Teresa Lu (TPE — 1)
17. Brooke Henderson (CAN — 1)
18. Pornanong Phatlum (THA — 1)
19. Julieta Granada (PAR — 1)
20. Shiho Oyama (JPN — 1)
21. Sandra Gal (GER — 1)
22. Catriona Matthew (GBR — 1)
23. Carlota Ciganda (ESP — 2)
24. Momoko Ueda (JPN — 2)
25. Charley Hull (GBR — 2)
26. Ariya Jutanugarn (THA — 2)
27. Karine Ircher (FRA — 1)
28. Lee-Anne Pace (RSA — 1)
29. Mariajo Uribe (COL — 1)
30. Caroline Masson (GER — 2)
31. Gwladys Nocera (FRA — 2)
32. Pernilla Lindberg (SWE — 2)
33. Christel Boeljon (NED — 1)
34. Yani Tseng (TPE — 2)
35. Xiyu Lin (CHN — 2)
36. Line Vedel Hansen (DEN — 1)
37. Stephanie Meadow (IRL — 1)
38. Marianne Skarpnord (NOR — 2)
39. Paula Reto (RSA — 2)
40. Kelly Tan (MAS — 1)
41. Nicole Larsen (DEN — 2)
42. Dewi Claire Schreefel (NED — 2)
43. Alena Sharp (CAN — 2)
44. Ursula Wikstrom (FIN — 1)
45. Fabienne In-Albon (SUI — 1)
46. Klara Splikova (CZE — 1)
47. Giulia Sergas (ITA — 1)
48. Diana Luna (ITA — 2)
49. Alejandra Llaneza (MEX — 1)
50. Christine Wolf (AUT — 1)
51. Maria Balikoeva (RUS — 1)
52. Noora Tamminen (FIN — 2)
53. Paz Echeverria (CHI — 1)
54. Michelle Koh (MAS — 2)
55. Leona Maguire (IRL — 2)
56. Jennifer Rosales (PHI — 1)
57. Lisa McCloskey (COL — 1)
58. Chloe Leurquin (BEL — 1)
59. Laetitia Beck (ISR — 1) *No. 414 overall
60. Victoria Lovelady (BRA — 1) *No. 649 overall; Brazil is guaranteed one automatic spot.

Mikaela Shiffrin finishes World Cup with one more win, two more records and a revelation


Mikaela Shiffrin finished a season defined by records with two more.

Shiffrin won the World Cup Finals giant slalom on the final day of the campaign, breaking her ties for the most career women’s giant slalom wins and most career podiums across all women’s World Cup races.

Shiffrin earned her record-extending 88th career World Cup victory, prevailing by six hundredths over Thea Louise Stjernesund of Norway combining times from two runs in Andorra on Sunday.

An encore of Shiffrin’s record-breaking 87th World Cup win airs on NBC next Sunday from 12-1 p.m. ET.


She won her 21st career GS, breaking her tie for the most all-time on the women’s World Cup with Vreni Schneider, a Swiss star of the 1980s and ’90s.

She made her 138th career World Cup podium across all events, breaking her tie for the most all-time on the women’s World Cup with Lindsey Vonn. Shiffrin earned her 138th podium in her 249th start, meaning she has finished in the top three in 55 percent of her World Cup races dating to her debut at age 15 in 2011.

Earlier this season, Shiffrin passed Vonn and then Ingemar Stenmark, a Swede of the 1970s and ’80s, for the most career Alpine skiing World Cup victories. She won 14 times from November through March, her second-best season after her record 17-win campaign of 2018-19.

In those years in between, Shiffrin endured the most difficult times of her life, was supplanted as the world’s top slalom skier and questioned her skiing like never before.

On Saturday afternoon, Shiffrin was asked what made the difference this fall and winter. There were multiple factors. She detailed one important one.

“I had a lot of problems with my memory,” she said in a press conference. “Not this season, so much, but last season and the season before that. I couldn’t remember courses. And when I was kind of going through this, I couldn’t keep mental energy for the second runs.”

Pre-race course inspection and the ability to retain that knowledge for a minute-long run over an hour later is integral to success in ski racing. Shiffrin is so meticulous and methodical in her training, historically prioritizing it over racing in her junior days, that inspection would seem to fit into her all-world preparation.

She didn’t understand how she lost that ability until she began working with a new sports psychologist last summer.

“That was a little bit like less focus on sports psychology and more focus on, like, psychology psychology and a little bit more grief counseling style,” she said. “Explaining what was actually going on in my brain, like chemical changes in the brain because of trauma. Not just grief, but actually the traumatic experience itself of knowing what happened to my dad, seeing him in the hospital, touching him after he was dead. Those are things that you can’t get out of your head. It had an impact. Clearly, it still does.”

Shiffrin had a “weird a-ha moment” after her first course inspection this season in November in Finland.

“I didn’t take that long to inspect, and I remembered the whole course,” she said. “Oh my gosh, I was like coming out of a cloud that I had been in for over two years.”

What followed was a win, of course, and a season that approached Shiffrin’s unrivaled 2018-19. Fourteen wins in 31 World Cup starts, her busiest season ever, and bagging the season titles in the overall, slalom and GS in runaways.

“After last season, I didn’t feel like I could get to a level with my skiing again where it was actually contending for the slalom globe,” she said. “And GS, I actually had a little bit more hope for, but then at the beginning of the season, I kind of counted myself out.

“I feel like my highest level of skiing has been higher than the previous couple of seasons, maybe higher than my whole career. My average level of skiing has been also higher than previous seasons, and my lowest level of skiing has also been higher.”

There are other reasons for the revival of dominance, though Shiffrin was also the world’s best skier last season (Olympics aside). She went out of her way on Saturday afternoon to credit her head coach of seven years, Mike Day, who left the team during the world championships after he was told he would not be retained for next season.

“He is as much a part of the success this entire season as he’s ever been,” said Shiffrin, who parted with Day to bring aboard Karin Harjo, the first woman to be her head coach as a pro.

Shiffrin’s greatest success this season began around the time she watched a a mid-December chairlift interview between retired Liechtenstein skier Tina Weirather and Italian Sofia Goggia, the world’s top downhiller. Goggia spoke about her disdain for mediocrity.

“Ever since then, pretty much every time I put on my skis, I’m like, ‘OK, don’t be mediocre today,’” Shiffrin said in January.

During the highest highs of this season, Shiffrin felt like she did in 2018-19.

“It is mind-boggling to me to be in a position again where I got to feel that kind of momentum through a season because after that [2018-19] season, I was like, this is never going to happen again, and my best days of my career are really behind me, which it was kind of sad to feel that at this point four years ago,” said Shiffrin, who turned 28 years old last week. “This season, if anything, it just proved that, take 17 wins [from 2018-19] aside or the records or all those things, it’s still possible to feel that kind of momentum.”

After one last victory Sunday, Shiffrin sat in the winner’s chair with another crystal globe and took questions from an interviewer. It was her boyfriend, Norwegian Alpine skier Aleksander Aamodt Kilde.

“Excited to come back and do it again next year,” she replied to one question.

“Yeah,” he wittily replied. “You will.”

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Russia ban runs through Olympic gymnastics team qualifying deadline

Russia Gymnastics

Russia’s ban from international sport extended long enough that, as rules stand, its gymnasts cannot qualify to defend Olympic men’s and women’s team titles at the 2024 Paris Games, even if they are reinstated to compete elsewhere before the Games start.

Should the ban be lifted in time, they can still qualify for the Paris Games to compete in individual events.

Gymnasts from Russia, and other European nations not already qualified, need to compete at next month’s European Championships to stay on the path toward Olympic qualification in the men’s and women’s team events.

Earlier this month, the European Gymnastics Federation was asked by what date must bans on Russian athletes be lifted for them to be eligible to compete at the European Championships.

“According to our rules, changes can be made until the draw,” the federation’s head of media wrote in a March 8 email.

The draw for the European Championships was held Tuesday. Russian gymnasts, who are still banned from international competition for the war in Ukraine, were not included in the draw.

The 2024 Olympic team event fields will be filled by the top finishers at this fall’s world championships, plus the medalists from last year’s worlds. Teams can only qualify for worlds via continental championships, such as the European Championships, or the previous year’s world championships.

The International Gymnastics Federation, whose Olympic qualifying rules were published by the IOC last April, was asked if there is any other way that gymnasts from Russia could qualify for the Olympic team events. It responded by forwarding a March 3 press release that stated that Russia and Belarus gymnasts remain banned “until further notice.”

Russia’s gymnastics federation has not responded to a Monday morning request for comment.

Last December, the IOC said it planned to explore a possibility that Russian and Belarusian athletes could enter Asian competitions if and when they are reinstated. There have been no further updates on that front. The Asian Gymnastics Championships are in June.

In Tokyo, Russian women, competing as the Russian Olympic Committee rather than Russia due to the nation’s doping violations, won the team title over the heavily favored U.S. after Simone Biles withdrew after her opening vault with the twisties. It marked the first Olympic women’s team title for Russian gymnasts since the Soviet Union broke up.

At last year’s worlds, the U.S. won the women’s team title in the absence of the banned Russians.

Russian men won the Tokyo Olympic team title by 103 thousandths of a point over Japan, their first gold in the event since the 1996 Atlanta Games.

China won last year’s world men’s team title over Japan and Great Britain.

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