Official qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro got underway on Monday after an announcement at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, site of this week’s British Open.
The announcement confirmed the qualification system following ratification by the executive board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
As outlined by International Golf Federation president Peter Dawson, cice president Ty Votaw and executive director Antony Scanlon, a field of 60 players will compete in a 72-hole stroke play format competition for the gold, silver and bronze medals in both men’s and women’s competitions.
The 60 positions available in each event will be allocated through an Olympic Golf Ranking (OGR) list published on the IGF website, based on the player’s respective official world golf ranking.
Players within the top 15 on the respective women’s and men’s official world golf rankings as of July 11, 2016 will be eligible, except that there will be no more than four players from any one country eligible within the top 15.
The balance of the field will be selected in order from 16th place onwards on the respective women’s and men’s official world golf rankings as of as of the same date, up to a maximum of two players per country for those countries not already having more than two players within the top 15.
A provision has been included for the host country, Brazil, that will guarantee at least one Brazilian female and male golfer will compete in the Games if not otherwise eligible, based on position within the respective official world golf rankings.
Another provision has also been included that each of the five continents of the Olympic Movement (Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania) will be guaranteed at least one athlete in each of the men’s and women’s events, if not otherwise eligible.
These provisions will not increase the field size beyond 60 athletes in each of the women’s and men’s competitions.
The two-year qualification period for the Olympic Golf Ranking began on Monday. An OGR list will be published each week using the current women’s and men’s official world golf rankings here.
The IGF will publish the final OGR list as of July 11, 2016 following the conclusion of all eligible events.
“This is an important milestone on the road to golf’s return to the Olympic Games in 2016,” said Dawson.
“The world’s best players now know what they must achieve to be part of golf’s historic return to the Games in Rio de Janeiro,” he added.