With 100 days to go, a look at the Olympic field

By Nick MentaApril 27, 2016, 1:20 pm

We're 100 days away from golf's return to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. With a little more than three months to go, we offer this look at the how the men's Olympic field would shape up if qualifying were to end today.

As a reminder, the 60-man field is not a collection of the 60 best players in the world. Instead, competing countries can send up to two representatives. As many as four players could represent a given country if they are all ranked inside the Official World Golf Ranking's top 15. The United States is currently the only country with more than two representatives, maxing out its full alottment.

The qualifying deadline is set for July 11. As of now, 34 countries will be respresented in men's golf, with players ranging from world No. 1 Jason Day to No. 369 Gavin Kyle Green.


Australia

Projected in: No. 1 Jason Day, No. 35 Marc Leishman

Sitting out: No. 7 Adam Scott

Day is a shoo-in and Leishman now finds himself in the field thanks to Scott, who has opted to withdraw himself from Olympic consideration.


United States

Projected in: No. 2 Jordan Spieth, No. 4 Bubba Watson, No. 5 Rickie Fowler, No. 8 Dustin Johnson

Odd man out: No. 12 Patrick Reed

Only the Americans are currently projected to get the maximum four representatives in the field. Reed is the closest to cracking the U.S. team, but 12 more Americans are currently inside the top 30 and could make a push with a big summer.


Ireland

Projected in: No. 3 Rory McIlroy, No. 33 Shane Lowry

Odd man out: No. 72 Graeme McDowell

McIlroy made headlines last year when he opted to represent Ireland and not Great Britain as part of Northern Ireland. As for McDowell, he’s more concerned with the Ryder Cup than Rio.


Sweden

Projected in: No. 6 Henrik Stenson, No. 48 David Lingmerth

Odd man out: No. 82 Kristoffer Broberg

Lingmerth is enjoying the fruits of his 2015 Memorial win, leaving Broberg, last year’s BMW Masters champ, with some work to do.


Great Britain

Projected in: No. 9 Danny Willett, No. 10 Justin Rose

Odd man out: No. 23 Paul Casey

If Casey can crack the OWGR’s top 15 by the deadline, he can earn GBR a third entry. The same goes for No. 30 Russell Knox, No. 32 Andy Sullivan, No. 36 Lee Westwood and No. 41 Matthew Fitzpatrick.


South Africa

Projected in: No. 11 Branden Grace, No. 59 Jaco Van Zyl

Sitting out: No. 13 Louis Oosthuizen, No. 20 Charl Schwartzel

Van Zyl suddenly finds himself in the Olympic mix after two of his fellow countrymen said they wouldn’t accept a bid.


Japan

Projected in: No. 14 Hideki Matsuyama, No. 79 Yuta Ikeda

Odd man out: No. 81 Shingo Katayama

American fans know Matusyama but are less familiar with Ikeda, a 14-time Japan Golf Tour winner who passed Katayama with a victory this past weekend at the Panasonic Open.


Spain

Projected in: No. 15 Sergio Garcia, No. 29 Rafa Cabrera Bello

Potential alternate Miguel Angel Jimenez has said he won’t play. Should Garcia or Cabrera Bello opt not to, No. 136 Alejandro Canizares is next in line.


South Korea

Projected in: No. 31 Ben An, No. 60 K.T. Kim

Odd man out: No. 75 Soomin Lee

Lee vaulted from 128th to 75th thanks to his first European Tour victory this past weekend at the Shenzhen International in China.


Denmark

Projected in: No. 38 Soren Kjeldsen, No. 68 Thorbjorn Olesen

Odd man out: No. 134 Lucas Bjerregaard

Kjeldsen won the Irish Open last year and finished T-7 at the Masters earlier this month. Olesen has been a winner on the European Tour in three of the last four years.


Argentina

Projected in: No. 39 Emiliano Grillo, No. 65 Fabian Gomez

Grillo won the Frys.com Open last fall and Gomez the FedEx St. Jude last season. Next in line for Argentina? Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera at No. 305.


Thailand

Projected in: No. 40 Kiradech Aphibarnrat, No. 45 Thongchai Jaidee

Odd man out: Prayad Marksaeng

Aphibarnrat won twice on the European Tour last year. Jaidee has 16 career wins spread across the European and Asian tours and represented Thailand at the Presidents Cup last fall.


New Zealand

Projected in: No. 42 Danny Lee, No. 169 Ryan Fox

Odd man out: No. 271 Josh Geary

Lee has a victory, a runner-up, a third and six more top-10s in the last two PGA Tour seasons. Fox is a three-time winner on the Challenge and Australasia tours.


Austria

Projected in: No. 43 Bernd Wiesberger

The first country on the list with only one representative, Wiesberger won the French Open last summer and was in the weekend mix at the PGA Championship at Valhalla in 2014.


France

Projected in: No. 52 Victor Dubuisson, No. 100 Alexander Levy

Odd man out: No. 147 Gregory Bourdy

Dubuisson had a breakout year in 2014, finishing runner-up at the WGC-Match Play and making the Ryder Cup. After a difficult 2015, he re-emerged in November, winning his second Turkish Airlines Open. Levy won twice on the European Tour in 2014.


India

Projected in: No. 53 Anirban Lahiri, No. 160 S.S.P. Chawrasia

Lahiri won twice on the European Tour last year, won the Long Drive Contest at the PGA Championship and represented India at the Presidents Cup. Chawrasia won his third Euro title this March at the Hero Indian Open, beating the defending champ Lahiri in a playoff.


Germany

Projected in: No. 55 Martin Kaymer, No. 145 Alex Cejka

Odd man out: No. 190 Marcel Siem

Two-time major winner and former world No. 1 Kaymer has swooned since his triumph at Pinehurst. At 44, Cejka finally won his first PGA Tour title last year at the Puerto Rico Open.


Netherlands

Projected in: No. 61 Joost Luiten

A four-time European Tour champ, Luiten is currently the Netherlands’ lone representative.


Belgium

Projected in: No. 62 Thomas Pieters, No. 266 Nicolas Colsaerts

Pieters won twice on the European Tour late last summer and is fighting for a spot in this fall’s Ryder Cup. Colsearts, a former Ryder Cupper, hasn’t won since 2012.


Italy

Projected in: No. 86 Francesco Molinari

A two-time member of European Ryder Cup team, Molinari last won the 2012 Spanish Open. He finished tied for third last year at the Memorial, two shots out of a playoff.


Portugal

Projected in: No. 95 Ricardo Gouveia

The former UCF Knight won twice on the Challenge Tour last year.


Philippines

Projected in: No. 113 Miguel Tabuena, No. 254 Angelo Que

Tabuena won his national open last year on the Asian Tour and has won eight more times in his home country. Que is a three-time Asian Tour winner who recorded two runner-ups on the Japanese Tour last year and a T-4 at this year’s Indian Open.


Canada

Projected in: No. 119 Graham DeLaet, No. 142 David Hearn

Odd man out: No. 185 Adam Hadwin

Hearn made a run at his own national open last year while DeLaet has become noteworthy for a number of close calls and a bushy beard. Hadwin was the Web.com Tour’s money leader in 2014.


China

Projected in: No. 174 WC Liang, No. 196 Wu Ashun

Odd man out: No. 237 Haotong Li

Liang won on the Japanese Tour last year and finished in the top 10 at the PGA Championship in 2010 at Whistling Straits, shooting a then-course record 8-under 64 in the third round. Ashun won last year’s Volvo China Open. Li won four times in China in 2014 and was T-7 at last year’s WGC-HSBC Champions.


Paraguay

Projected in: No. 182 Fabrizio Zanotti

Zanotti won the BMW International in 2014 and had four top-10 finishes on the European Tour, including a runner-up to Matthew Fitzpatrick at the British Masters.


Finland

Projected in: No. 189 Mikko Ilonen, No. 265 Roope Kakko

Odd man out: No. 334 Mikko Korhonen

Ilonen rode a hot streak in the summer of 2014, sandwiching a tie for seventh at the PGA Championship with two European Tour wins. Kakko won the months-delayed Madeira Islands Open last August.


Zimbabwe

Projected in: No. 211 Brendon de Jonge

De Jonge has 27 career top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour including two runner-ups, the most recent coming in the form of a playoff loss at the 2014 McGladrey.


Colombia

Projected in: No. 224 Camilo Villegas

Spider-Man is a four-time PGA Tour winner who last won the 2014 Wyndham.


Malaysia

Projected in: No. 264 Danny Chia, No. 369 Gavin Kyle Green

The 43-year-old Chia topped the board at last year’s Taiwan Masters. Green is the lowest-ranked player currently in the field.


Mexico

Projected in: No. 283 Rodolfo Cazaubon, No. 332 Carlos Ortiz

Cazaubon led PGA Tour Latinoamerica’s Order of Merit last year, advancing to the Web.com Tour. Ortiz was the 2014 Web.com Tour Player of the Year.


Venezuela

Projected in: No. 286 Jhonattan Vegas

Vegas’ lone Tour victory came at the former Bob Hope in 2011. He’s playing this season on Tour via past champion status.


Chinese Taipei (Taiwan)

Projected in: No. 295 C.T. Pan, No. 308 Wen-Tang Lin

Pan picked up two PGA Tour Canada titles in 2015. Lin once defeated Rory McIlroy and Francesco Molinari in a playoff at the 2008 Hong Kong Open.


Brazil

Projected in: No. 335 Adilson da Silva

The 44-year-old is a 12-time winner on the South African Sunshine Tour and made the cut at the 2013 Open Championship.


Singapore

Projected in: No. 363 MardaN Mamat

Mamat in 1997 became the first player from Singapore to ever play the Open. The five-time Asian Tour champ last won the 2015 Bangladesh Open.

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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry