Golf Preview
Looking ahead to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Team USA hopes to build on its 2016 performance, where Matt Kuchar earned the bronze medal in golf’s return to the Olympic Games for the first time since 1904.

As many as four players for both the men’s and women’s teams can qualify to compete in Tokyo, provided they are among the top 15 in the Olympic rankings when the teams are finalized in June 2021.

There is a busy season ahead on both the LPGA Tour and the PGA TOUR, as competition resumed after several weeks off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, both the men and the women will play a significant amount of important and prominent events over the next 11 months as they seek to earn a spot on Team USA.

The men’s competition is extremely tight, as there are 10 Americans currently inside the top 15 of the Official World Golf Rankings. The four highest ranked men’s players in June 2021 will represent Team USA in Tokyo. Currently, Justin Thomas holds the top spot for Americans, currently ranked third in the world. He’s trailed closely by Dustin Johnson (No. 4), Webb Simpson (No. 5), and Brooks Koepka (No. 6).

Sitting right outside the top four are several players with the chance to climb the rankings and earn a spot on the team over the next several months. Bryson Dechambeau (No. 7), Patrick Reed (No. 8), Patrick Cantlay (No. 10), Xander Schauffele (No. 11), Collin Morikawa (No. 13), and Tiger Woods (No. 14) are all currently within striking distance.

On the women’s side, World No. 2 Nelly Korda leads the way for Team USA. She is the sixth American player to reach the top two in the history of the Rolex World Golf Rankings and has been in the top 10 for more than a year. No. 5 Danielle Kang became a major winner at the 2017 Women’s PGA Championship and has 20 top-10 finishes since the start of the 2018 season. 2016 Olympian Lexi Thompson sits ninth in the world and is primed for a second chance at Olympic glory after finishing 19th in Rio. Sitting just outside the top 15 is Nelly Korda’s older sister, Jessica Korda (No. 16), who came back from major reconstructive jaw surgery in 2018 to capture her first win since 2015. No. 19 Lizette Salas would bring another inspirational story to Team USA, as the daughter of Mexican immigrants who came to suburban Los Angeles in search of better opportunities for their children.
*All rankings as of Feb. 2020.

Updated on July 19, 2020. For more information, contact the sport press officer here.

Back for More: Lexi Thompson embraced her 2016 experience in Rio, where she finished 19th. She is now looking to return to the Olympic stage in Tokyo and has Olympic gold as a goal at the top of her career checklist.

Competition for the Team:  For the men, competition for the top four positions for Team USA will be fierce as there are currently 10 players among the world’s top 15: Thomas (3), Johnson (4), Simpson (5), Koepka (6), DeChambeau (7), Reed (8), Cantlay (10), Schauffele (11), Morikawa (13) and Woods (14). 

Tiger's Comeback: In 2016, Tiger Woods’ competing at Tokyo 2020 seemed almost unfathomable as he was sidelined the entire season with back problems and his world ranking plummeted to No. 652 by the end of the year. Woods won the Masters in April 2019 for his 81st career PGA Tour title and the ZoZo Championship in Japan last fall to tie Sam Snead's all-time record for 82 PGA Tour wins.

Sister Act: 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. If they both make Team USA, they would join an illustrious list of sibling Olympians, including Cheryl and Reggie Miller, Venus and Serena Williams, and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando.

Justin Thomas (Louisville, Kentucky)
26-year-old Thomas currently leads the PGA Tour’s season-long race for the FedEx Cup and is the second highest ranked American in the world. With two wins this season – the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges and the Sentry Tournament of Champions – Thomas is rounding into form as golf heads into its season of championships. 

Patrick Cantlay (Jupiter, Florida)
27-year-old UCLA product Cantlay is seeking to move into the top four Americans and qualify for Tokyo. One of the most consistent players on the PGA Tour over the last two seasons, Cantlay rose to prominence in December 2019 while helping the U.S. team secure a victory over the international team in the Presidents Cup. 

Bryson DeChambeau (Clovis, California)
25-year-old DeChambeau is well-known in golf circles for his unorthodox and scientific approach to the golf swing and his golf equipment. That method has paid off with five PGA Tour titles in just three years on Tour, including three victories during the 2018-19 PGA Tour Season.

Dustin Johnson (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina)
35-year-old Johnson won his 20th career PGA Tour title earlier this year at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship to extend his amazing streak of consecutive seasons with at least one Tour win to 12.

Jessica and Nelly Korda (Bradenton, Florida)
The Korda sisters – Jessica, 27, and Nelly, 21 – 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 Olympics for her native Czechoslovakia.

Danielle Kang (Las Vegas, Nevada)
27-year old Kang followed up her first major victory at the 2017 Women’s PGA Championship with victories in 2018 and 2019 at the LPGA Shanghai. She is coached by famed golf instructor Butch Harmon, who also coaches PGA Tour stars Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Gary Woodland.

Qualification will be based on the world rankings as of June 22, 2021 for men and June 29, 2021 for women, with a total of 60 players qualifying in each of the men's and women's events. The top 15 players of each gender will qualify, with a limit of four per country. The remaining spots will go to the highest-ranked players from countries that do not already have two golfers qualified.
Athletes will qualify by name based on the world rankings in June 2021. See the qualification procedure section above for more information.
June 22, 2021: men’s team is finalized based on world rankings
June 29, 2021: women’s team is finalized based on world rankings