Golf Preview

At this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Team USA hopes to build on its 2016 performance, when Matt Kuchar earned the men’s bronze medal in golf’s return to the Olympic program for the first time since 1904.

The U.S. qualified the maximum of four players for both the men’s and women’s teams for Tokyo. In order to send the maximum four players, Team USA golfers had to rank in the top 15 of the Olympic Golf Ranking at the close of each qualification period. At the close of the men’s qualifying period on June 21 following the U.S. Open, Justin Thomas (2nd), Collin Morikawa (3rd), Xander Schauffele (4th) and Bryson DeChambeau all had secured their places. At the close of the women’s qualifying period on June 28 following the Women’s PGA Championship, Nelly Korda (1st), Danielle Kang (5th), Olympian Lexi Thompson (9th) and Jessica Korda (13th) qualified on the women’s side.

Seven of these eight players will be first-time Olympians. All four men’s players are new and only Thompson returns from the 2016 Rio Games on the women’s side. At the Olympic debut of golf back in 1900, the U.S. won the gold medal in both men’s and women’s and remains the all-time medal leader with nine total medals.

Like most professional golf tournaments, the Olympic competition consists of 72 holes of stroke play over four rounds. Both the men’s and women’s tournaments are contested by 60 players. Ties for any medals are decided by a three-hole playoff.

Updated on July 11, 2021. For more information, contact the sport press officer here.

• Lexi Thompson is the only returning Olympian on the U.S. team, having made her Olympic debut at the age of 21 in 2016. Thompson opened strongly with a first-round 68. Although a third-round 76 took her out of medal contention, she rallied with a 66 and finished 19th.

• Nelly and Jessica Korda are one of just three sets of sisters to both compete on the LPGA Tour, joining Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam and Moriya and Ariya Jutanugarn. Once they take the course in Tokyo, they would join an illustrious list of U.S. sibling Olympians, including Cheryl and Reggie Miller, Venus and Serena Williams, and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando. 


• Justin Thomas, 28, was the top-ranked American man in the Olympic Golf Ranking and has finished first on the PGA Tour money list in three out of the last four years. The 2017 PGA Championship winner has one win so far in 2021, at the Players Championship in March. Thomas previously represented the U.S. at the 2018 Ryder Cup.

• Bryson DeChambeau, 27, is well-known in golf circles for his unorthodox and scientific approach to his golf swing and equipment, earning him the nickname “The Scientist.” That method has paid off with eight PGA Tour titles since turning pro in 2016, including the 2020 U.S. Open.

• The Korda sisters — Jessica, 28, and Nelly, who will turn 23 during the Tokyo Games — are the daughters of former tennis professionals Petr Korda, who captured the men’s singles title at the 1998 Australian Open, and Regina Rajchrtová, who competed in the 1988 Olympic Games for her native Czechoslovakia. Their brother, Sebastian, might have joined them in Tokyo in men’s tennis but withdrew from consideration. Jessica is a six-time winner on tour while Nelly, the world’s No. 1 player, also has six victories including the 2021 Women’s PGA Championship, which made her the first U.S. woman to win a major tournament since 2018.

• Danielle Kang, 28, followed up her first major victory at the 2017 Women’s PGA Championship with victories in 2018 and 2019 at the LPGA Shanghai and now has five career tour victories in all. She is coached by famed golf instructor Butch Harmon, who also coaches PGA Tour stars Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Gary Woodland.

• July 29, 2021: Olympic competition begins with the first round of the men’s tournament
• July 30, 2021: Men’s second round
• July 31, 2021: Men’s third round
• August 1, 2021: Men’s final round
• August 4, 2021: Women’s first round
• August 5, 2021: Women’s second round
• August 6, 2021: Women’s third round
• August 7, 2021: Women’s final round