USA GOLF names eight athletes to 2020 Olympic Teams in TokyoNelly Korda, Justin Thomas lead Team USA into Olympic competition
June 30, 2021
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- June 30, 2021
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With the qualification process closed in both the men’s and women’s Olympic Golf Ranking, USA GOLF named four male athletes and four female athletes to represent Team USA at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.
As the top-four ranked Americans in the Olympic Golf Ranking, Justin Thomas (No. 2), Collin Morikawa (No. 3), Xander Schauffele (No. 4) and Bryson DeChambeau (No. 5) have each qualified to represent Team USA on the men’s side. Likewise, Nelly Korda (No. 1), Danielle Kang (No. 5), Lexi Thompson (No. 9) and Jessica Korda (No. 13) will join Team USA in the women’s competition.
Golf will return to the Olympic Games for just the second time since 1904 after its return in 2016, with fields of 60 players for both men and women in a 72-hole stroke-play format. Seven of the eight players will make their debut at the Olympics, while Lexi Thompson will return after a T19 finish in 2016.
“We are thrilled to welcome these world class players to Team USA and excited to watch them compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” said Rick Adams, USOPC chief of sport performance. “The return of golf to the Olympic program in Rio was a highlight of the Games, and the golf competition in Tokyo will be no different. We are thankful to this group of eight athletes for taking on this challenge as members of Team USA, and representing the United States this summer.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams will send the maximum four allowed as all are ranked among the top 15 in the Olympic Golf Ranking. The men’s competition will take place from July 29-August 1 with the women following from August 4-7 at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kasahata, Saitama, Japan.
"Team USA will again have the largest contingent of players in the Olympic golf competition with eight of golf's stars giving the United States a strong chance at reaching the podium," said USA GOLF Executive Director Andy Levinson. "USA GOLF is honored to welcome these players to the team and excited for them to experience the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games."
All nominations to the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team are pending approval by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee.
Justin Thomas, 28, is a 14-time PGA TOUR winner, most notably the PGA Championship in 2017 and THE PLAYERS Championship in 2021 along with the 2017 FedExCup. The Louisville, Kentucky native who resides in Jupiter, Florida has won three times since the beginning of 2020 and has competed for the United States on one Ryder Cup team (2018) and two Presidents Cup teams (2017, 2019). Thomas competed collegiately at the University of Alabama and has remained inside the top-five in the Official World Golf Ranking since October of 2019.
Collin Morikawa, 24, a La Cañada, California native who lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, is a four-time PGA TOUR winner, including the 2020 PGA Championship and 2021 World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at The Concession. Morikawa has represented the United States as an amateur at the Arnold Palmer Cup (2017, 2018) and the Walker Cup (2017) but the upcoming Olympic Games will mark his first time representing the United States as a professional. Morikawa is a graduate of the University of California-Berkeley.
Xander Schauffele, 27, is a four-time PGA TOUR winner, including the 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions and the 2017 TOUR Championship. The San Diego, California native and Las Vegas, Nevada resident has been one of the most consistent players on the PGA TOUR having finished second in the FedExCup each of the last two seasons. He made his debut representing the United States in professional team competition at the 2019 Presidents Cup. Schauffele competed collegiately at San Diego State University.
Bryson DeChambeau, 27, has eight PGA TOUR victories, most recently at the 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard. He won his first major championship at the 2020 U.S. Open and has represented the United States in professional team competition on two occasions: the Ryder Cup (2018) and the Presidents Cup (2019). The Dallas, Texas native won the individual title at the NCAA Division I Championship in 2015 while at Southern Methodist University.
Nelly Korda, 22, moved to No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings after taking her first major title last week at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. It was the sixth LPGA Tour title of her career and came immediately following a victory the previous week at the Meijer LPGA Classic. Korda, a native of Bradenton, Florida who now makes her home in Sarasota, Florida, represented the United States at the 2019 Solheim Cup. Her sister Jessica is also a member of the Team USA women’s golf team. She is the daughter of professional tennis stars Petr Korda and Regina Rajchrtová, with Regina representing the former Czechoslovakia at the 1988 Olympics.
Danielle Kang, 28, is a five-time LPGA Tour winner, with her first victory coming in major fashion at the 2017 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. In 2020, she won back-to-back events when the LPGA Tour returned to play following its pandemic-related hiatus, and she led the Tour in scoring at 70.08. She represented the United States at the Solheim Cup in 2017 and 2019. Kang attended Pepperdine University and is a two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur champion (2010, 2011).
Lexi Thompson, 26, is the only returning member of Team USA from the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she tied for 19th. Thompson has 11 career LPGA Tour victories, including a major title at the 2014 ANA Inspiration, and had at least one win each year from 2013 to 2019. The Coral Springs, Florida native represented the USA four times at the Solheim Cup (2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019) and three times at the International Crown (2014, 2016, 2018).
Jessica Korda, 28, has six LPGA Tour victories to her name, most recently at the 2021 Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. She won the 2018 Honda LPGA Thailand less than three months after major jaw surgery to alleviate chronic migraines and pain. Korda, who hails from Bradenton, Florida, and now lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, represented the United States at the Solheim Cup (2013, 2019; qualified in 2017 but withdrew due to injury) and the International Crown (2018). Her sister Nelly is also a member of the Team USA women’s golf team. She is the daughter of professional tennis stars Petr Korda and Regina Rajchrtová, with Regina representing the former Czechoslovakia at the 1988 Olympics.