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16D AGO

Olympic Golf Rankings update: Collin Morikawa continues late surge to Le Golf National

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Olympic Golf

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    Written by Preston Smith and Sarah Kellam

    With under two weeks remaining – including the upcoming U.S. Open – until the deadline to finalize the field in the men’s Olympic golf competition, no player has taken advantage of a late surge more than American Collin Morikawa.

    After a series of less-than-stellar performances (by his standards) to start the year caused a drop to No. 20 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Morikawa finished T3 at the Masters Tournament to jumpstart a stretch of four top-10 finishes in five events. Over the past two weeks, Morikawa has finished T4 at the PGA Championship and fourth at the Charles Schwab Challenge. The hot stretch has moved him up to ninth in the world, surpassing Patrick Cantlay and Max Homa to become the No. 4-ranked American in the world. Countries can only have more than two representatives if they have more than two within the top 15 of the Olympic Golf Ranking (OGR) with a maximum of four players, making the fourth position amongst Americans a coveted one.

    Collin Morikawa chips in for birdie at PGA Championship


    After bursting onto the scene as a rookie in 2019 and into the 2020 season, Morikawa won the 2020 PGA Championship and 2021 Open Championship to solidify himself as one of the top players in the game. He entered the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 as the highest-ranked player in the field and just missed out on a podium performance, falling in a seven-man playoff for the Bronze medal to C.T. Pan.

    Now he's charging toward an opportunity to tee it up at Le Golf National in Paris..

    “I knew -- let's call it two, three months ago where I stood, and I knew I had to start playing some good golf and we've played some good golf to put myself in contention,” Morikawa said. “So at the end of the day, these next two weeks are going to be big and I know what's at stake.”

    Elsewhere in the OGR, Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger has leaped into the top-60, the threshold needed to qualify for the men’s competition, after a T2 finish in the DP World Tour’s European Open last week. Wiesberger, who finished T11 eight years ago at the 2016 Rio Olympics, is now likely to join countryman Sepp Straka in representing Austria in Paris later this summer.

    With less than two weeks on the calendar prior to the cutoff, all eyes will be on finishes at major events such as the Memorial Tournament, the Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed and the U.S. Open.

    Yuka Saso soars into top 15 after winning the U.S. Women’s Open presented by Ally

    After a tough test toppled the major championship dreams of the world’s top talent at Lancaster Country Club, it was ultimately Yuka Saso who was left standing on Sunday in Pennsylvania, victorious once again at the U.S. Women’s Open presented by Ally.

    Saso won by three shots over Hinako Shibuno en route to claiming her second U.S. Women’s Open title, and the victory vaulted her up in both the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings and Olympic Golf Ranking. After missing the cut at the Mizuho Americas Open, the 22-year-old came to the second major championship of the 2024 LPGA Tour season ranked 30th in the world and wasn’t yet qualified to represent Japan at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

    Her second LPGA Tour title sent Saso soaring into the top 15 in the Rolex Rankings to No. 6 in the world, having knocked out Miyu Yamashita to claim a spot in the field at Le Golf National with three weeks left to qualify. Saso is now the highest-ranked Japanese player in the world and the Olympic Golf Ranking, sitting ahead of Nasa Hataoka, who is 17th in the standings.

    The 2024 Olympics would mark Saso’s second time competing in the Games, as she represented the Philippines in 2021 in Tokyo, but it’s likely to be her first time playing for Japan, as Saso elected to adopt Japanese citizenship in 2021 following the Olympics.

    Other notable movements in the Olympic Golf Ranking involved players from New Zealand, Chinese Taipei, Ecuador and Norway. Momoka Koburi of New Zealand has replaced her fellow countrywoman, Fiona Xu, who won the Copper Rock Championship earlier this year on the Epson Tour, in the top 60.

    Chinese Taipei native Wei-Ling Hsu’s top-25 finish at the U.S. Women’s Open has moved her inside the top 60 in the Olympic Golf Ranking, bumping out Chia Yen Wu for the second available spot.

    Additionally, Megan Khang has fallen out of the top 15, leaving the United States with just three representatives – Nelly Korda, Lilia Vu and Rose Zhang. Khang was replaced by Daniela Darquea of Ecuador, who currently holds the 59th position in the Olympic Golf Ranking.

    The U.S. is one of four countries with two or more representatives in the top 15 at the moment, joined by the People’s Republic of China, who have Ruoning Yin and Xiyu Lin in the top 15; Australia, who have major champions Hannah Green and Minjee Lee currently qualified; and the Republic of Korea, represented by Jin Young Ko and Hyo Joo Kim.

    The qualification period for the women’s golf competition at the 2024 Paris Olympics ends on June 24 following the conclusion of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Sahalee Country Club.

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