Vijay Singh

Vijay Singh
Getty Images

Vijay Singh to skip Olympics, cites timing, Zika virus

Leave a comment

Vijay Singh won’t play in the first Olympic golf tournament in 112 years. Why?

“The timing of it, you know I have to focus over here [on the PGA Tour],” Singh said Tuesday, according to GolfChannel.com. “I would like to play the Olympics, but the Zika virus, you know and all that crap.”

Singh, a 53-year-old with three major titles, is a sure bet to be among the 60 qualifiers for the Rio Olympic tournament because he is the top-ranked player from his country, Fiji.

Singh is ranked No. 215 in the world, and with no more than two players per nation allowed past the top 15 in the Official World Golf Ranking on July 11, the field will dip into the 300s in ranking to fill out.

He last won on the PGA Tour in 2008.

“It wasn’t that difficult [a decision],” Singh said, according to GolfChannel.com. “I feel bad, I wanted to play and finally decided against it. It’s in the middle of the Tour over here and I’m trying to figure out my game.”

MORE: USA Golf unveils Olympic uniforms

Fiji set for breakout (record-breaking?) Rio 2016 Olympics

Leave a comment

Fiji has already qualified at least 30 athletes into the Rio 2016 Olympics, with at least 13 more looking very likely to join the delegation, which sets the Pacific Ocean archipelago for its largest Olympic team ever.

Fiji could also send the largest number of Olympians to a single Games for a nation of fewer than one million people. It could also be favored to earn its first Olympic medal in Rio.

Fiji, perhaps best known at the London 2012 Games for marching in the Parade of Nations while a Bee Gees song played at Olympic Stadium, appears likely to make noise in competition in Rio.

It is arguably the favorite to win the first Olympic men’s rugby tournament since 1924, having topped this past season’s Sevens World Series standings.

Its women’s rugby sevens team will likely qualify for Rio, too (the men already qualified).

Its men’s soccer team qualified for the Rio Games on Sunday, beating Vanuatu in an Oceania qualifier after favored New Zealand was disqualified before a potential final matchup with Fiji (New Zealand is appealing the DQ).

Three-time major champion golfer Vijay Singh, at 52, could be the oldest man in the first Olympic men’s golf tournament since 1904. He is ranked No. 207 and will likely be safely into the Rio Olympics if he’s still in the top 300 on the ranking cutoff date of July 11, 2016.

All that sets up Fiji’s first time qualifying rugby players, soccer players and a golfer into an Olympics — at least 43 Olympians in all (12 rugby players per team, 18 soccer players and Singh).

In 2012, Fiji, with a population of 890,000, had nine Olympians. Its highest-ever team size at a single Games was 23 at Seoul 1988, according to sports-reference.com.

If Fiji qualifies the aforementioned 43 plus the same number of athletes in sports other than golf, rugby and soccer in 2016 as it did in 2012, it will have 52 Olympians in Rio.

Luxembourg is the only nation with fewer than 1,000,000 people to have 40 or more competitors at a single Olympics, according to OlympStats.com, which reported Luxembourg’s high was 52 in 1960.

In 2012, Fiji tied for 107th among 205 nations for number of Olympians with nine, according to Olympic historian Bill Mallon. Three nations with 52 athletes in 2012 (Azerbaijan, Iran, North Korea) tied for 50th among 205 nations.

If Fiji jumps some 50 spots in Olympic delegation size in one Olympiad, that would also be a breakout accomplishment.

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

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

Leave a comment

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.

Men
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.

Women
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.