2016 Olympics: Tiger In, Phil Out
This might sound hard to believe, especially given Tiger Woods injury-forced withdrawal from last weekend’s Bridgestone Invitational.
But if the teams were picked for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro then Woods would be there and last year’s Open champion Phil Mickelson would be left languishing at home.
Tiger Woods (Credit: Anthony Powter)
I know, I know, there is plenty of golf to be played before the sides are finalised but the fact is, when the initial; Olympic Golf Qualification rankings were released last week Tiger was in and Phil was out.
Just to quantify that statement, the Olympic rankings are based on the Official World Golf Ranking. And that takes into account two years of play and its occasional frustratingly-slow rate of change.
Each country will field four representatives when golf officially returns to the Olympics. So that means Mickelson (13th in the World Golf Ranking), Jordan Spieth (11th) and Zach Johnson (14th) would miss the boat to Rio.
It would mean Woods, who was tied for ninth going into the Bridgestone, would be accompanied by Bubba Watson (sixth), Matt Kuchar (seventh) and veteran Jim Furyk in 10th spot.
And just for the record, the Australian team would be Adam Scott (2nd in world rankings), Jason Day (ninth), Marc Leishman (39th) and Matt Jones (51st).
And that looks like a team you’d be happy to cheer to a gold, providing, of course, Day overcomes that persistent wrist injury.
It does appear that the Olympics are more committed to diversity than the strongest field for the 72-hole, stroke-play event.
But it is more than two years until we have to take it seriously.