Though several of the sport's top golfers have already dropped out of the running, Team USA will have four solid golfers representing them at the Olympics next month in Tokyo.
The men’s field of 60 for the upcoming Games was finalized on Tuesday following the U.S. Open. Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele and Bryson DeChambeau were named to the four-man squad, and Patrick Cantlay will serve as the team’s first alternate.
The field was decided based on the Official World Golf Rankings. The top 15 players in the world are automatically eligible, though each country can only have up to four players. After the top-15, the field is then filled as the rankings go down — though each country is then limited to two players if it does not have two or more players inside the top 15.
Thomas, Morikawa, Schauffele and DeChambeau are ranked Nos. 3-6, respectively. The United States is the only country with four players, as nine of the top 15 are all American golfers. No other country has multiple players inside the top 15.
“I’m going. I’m so excited. It’s going to be one of the best things of my life,” Morikawa said after the U.S. Open on Sunday, where he finished in a tie for fourth, via USA Today. “To think back that I was an amateur two years ago, literally two years ago, and to be on this team and to be heading to Tokyo puts a smile on my face.”
Other notable athletes competing in the event include Canada’s Corey Conners and Mackenzie Hughes, Chile’s Joaquin Niemann, France’s Victor Perez, Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry, Italy’s Francesco Molinari, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, South Korea’s Sungjae Im and Si Woo Kim and Norway’s Viktor Hovland.
The men’s tournament at the Olympics will take place from July 29-Aug. 1 at the Kasumigaseki Country Club. The women’s tournament will take place there days later, though their field won’t be finalized until after the Women’s PGA Championship this weekend.
Dustin Johnson among golfers who declined Olympics trip
There were several notable golfers who declined to participate in the Games, including former world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. Johnson said in March that he would not be participating regardless of whether he qualified or not.
Sergio Garcia, who is currently ranked No. 48 in the world and took eighth at the 2016 Games, announced Tuesday that he would not be participating this time for Spain. He will be replaced by Rafa Cabrera Bello. Reigning U.S. Open champion and new world No. 1 Jon Rahm will also participate for Spain.
“Without having my full attention and all five senses dedicated to the Olympics, I would prefer to give the opportunity to a player that can give it his all for a medal for our great Spain,” Garcia wrote, in part. “At my age, it gets more and more difficult to qualify but I’m going to do my best to play in the next Olympic games.”
Tyrrell Hatton, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Lee Westwood — who are all inside the top-30 in the world rankings — all opted not to play for England in the Games, too. The country will instead send Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood.
Louis Oosthuizen, who finished second in the U.S. Open last week, withdrew from the Games for South Africa on Tuesday, too. His focus, he said, is both on finishing the FedExCup season strong and to his “family commitments with the new life we are building at the farm.” He will be replaced by Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
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