Men's Olympic Golf Qualifying Ends After The US Open: Who's In And Who's Currently Out?

There is just one more event included in the Olympic qualifying period on the men's calendar and several big-name players need a strong week if they are to play in Paris this August...

Three images split into Collin Morikawa (left), Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry hoisting the Zurich Classic trophy (centre), and Cameron Smith
(Image credit: Getty Images)

For those male players hoping to punch their ticket to the Paris Olympics this summer, there is one last chance to make it happen. 

The US Open at Pinehurst No.2 this week represents the final opportunity for those inside the 60 qualifying spots to lock up their place and the many outside to gatecrash what is sure to be one huge party at Le Golf National in August.

A two-year rolling qualification period has led up to the third men's Major of the season, with an almost identical situation facing the women once the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship concludes later this month.

In order to qualify for the Olympics, athletes accumulated Olympic Golf Ranking (OGR) points. The OGR is calculated by variable factors: each tournament earns a strength-of-field rating, which in turn determines how many ranking points are awarded to the top finishers.

A player's final position in each event awards them points towards their OGR, but stronger-field events offers more OGR points, as approved by the International Golf Federation (IGF). Given the US Open is a Major, the maximum number of points are available.

Dividing the total number of ranking points a player has earned by the number of tournaments that they have competed in during the qualification period then determines each player's final OGR.

The top 15 players in the OWGR will automatically be eligible for Paris 2024, but there is a limit of four players per country regardless. Outside of the top-15, there is a maximum of two eligible players from each country that does not already have two or more golfers qualified via the leading 15.

The USA has all four players inside the top-15 of the OWGR and therefore does not have anyone else from spots 16-60 in the OGR. Scottie Scheffler (No.1), Xander Schauffele (No.2), Wyndham Clark (No.4), and Collin Morikawa (No.8) make up the current US men's Olympic squad, with Patrick Cantlay - who is the World No.9 - and Max Homa (World No.10) both currently missing out.

Sahith Theegala, Brian Harman, Keegan Bradley, Russell Henley, and Cameron Young are also all inside the World's top-20 but won't play Le Golf National if Morikawa enjoys a good week.

Away from the PGA Tour, Brooks Koepka's chances of representing Team USA at the Paris Olympics were greatly inhibited by joining the LIV Golf League in 2022. He is 43rd in the OWGR and could have theoretically qualified but withdrew from consideration along with the likes of Tyrrell Hatton and Adam Scott back in March.

Brooks Koepka during a practice round prior to the PGA Championship

Brooks Koepka

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Another fascinating battle to watch pertains to Team USA's direct neighbors, Canada. While Nick Taylor is all but assured of taking his nation's first spot, there are four other compatriots in the World's top-70 who can legitimately board the plane with the 2023 Canadian Open winner.

Corey Conners (World No.46) did hold pole position before Adam Hadwin's superb third-place at The Memorial last week, with that result catapulting the latter up 24 spots to World No.35 - three below Taylor.

Not only did Hadwin give himself the best chance of representing Team Canada over in central Europe, but he also secured two tee times at the Open Championship a couple of weeks prior as a result of the Open Qualifying Series which offers one place at Jack Nicklaus' tournament.

Conners joined Mackenzie Hughes at the delayed Tokyo Olympics last time out, but those two will be fighting hard to out-qualify the other via a top finish at the US Open in the coming days. Hughes is 66th, and as such the lowest-ranked Canadian still in with a chance. The final man still in the hunt for Team Canada is Taylor Pendrith, who is World No.65.

Nick Taylor with the RBC Canadian Open trophy

Nick Taylor with the RBC Canadian Open trophy in 2023

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Great Britain pairing is currently Tommy Fleetwood (World No.13) and Matt Fitzpatrick (World No.16). 2024 Canadian Open champion Robert MacIntyre is 41st in the OWGR but looks extremely unlikely to pip Fitzpatrick unless he wins at Pinehurst.

Rory McIlroy will be joined by Shane Lowry on Team Ireland while two LIV golfers in Jon Rahm and David Puig are currently in line to try and win a medal for Spain. Host nation France has Matthieu Pavon and Victor Perez, and Australia will pin their hopes of success on Jason Day and Min Woo Lee, with Cameron Smith having slipped down to 72nd in the world rankings as a result of LIV's inability to offer them at its events.

Smith admitted to The Guardian's Jack Snape back in April that he would dearly have loved to achieve an Olympic spot for his country but appears quite unlikely to do at this stage. 

At the time, Smith said: “It’s desperately a place that I want to get to and represent Australia. I know I have to play well, and I’m probably only going to get three or four shots at it before they make the selection. I guess it is more pressure.”

Tom Kim takes a shot at the RBC Heritage

Tom Kim

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Korea will be represented by Tom Kim and Ben An - both of whom have shown strong form this year - with Sunjae Im and Si Woo Kim hoping to usurp one of their countrymen. Meanwhile, Hideki Matsuyama and Keita Nakajima should tee it up for Japan, although Rikuya Hoshino remains in with an outside chance.

The entire continent of Africa will be represented by just two players on the men's side - with Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Erik van Rooyen currently in line to receive that honor for South Africa.

Hovering around the final few places with one week of action remaining are some names very few people will be familiar with. Gaganjeet Bhullar competes on the DP World Tour and the Asian Tour and is World No.254. He has one DP World Tour win to his name - the 2018 Fiji International - and is set to represent India alongside Shubshankar Sharma.

Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai is another DP World Tour and Asian Tour competitor, although the 25-year-old only has one Asian Tour victory to his name at this point. His fellow Olympian is set to be Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

Viktor Hovland celebrates winning his singles match at the 2024 Ryder Cup

Norway's Viktor Hovland

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Almost everyone is aware of Norway's Viktor Hovland, but his current Olympic teammate, Kristoffer Ventura is far less likely to be name dropped by those trying to think of Scandinavian golfers.

Ventura, the World No.305, was actually born in Mexico and plays on the Korn Ferry Tour, having spent at least one season on the PGA Tour from 2020.

Carl Yuan will represent China in Paris this August, and he is due to be joined by Dou Zecheng - a three-time Korn Ferry Tour champion who tees it up on the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour this season.

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Men's Olympic Golf Team Line-Ups (Before US Open)
USAScottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Wyndham Clark, Collin Morikawa
IrelandRory McIlroy, Shane Lowry
NorwayViktor Hovland, Kristoffer Ventura
SwedenLudvig Aberg, Alex Noren
SpainJon Rahm, David Puig
Great BritainTommy Fleetwood, Matt Fitzpatrick
JapanHideki Matsuyama, Keita Nakajima
AustraliaJason Day, Min Woo Lee
AustriaSepp Straka, Bernd Wiesberger
Korea RepublicTom Kim, Byeong Hun An
FranceMatthieu Pavon, Victor Perez
CanadaNick Taylor, Adam Hadwin
DenmarkNicolai Hojgaard, Thorbjorn Olesen
GermanyStephan Jaeger, Matti Schmid
BelgiumThomas Detry, Adrien Dumont de Chassart
ArgentinaEmiliano Grillo, Alejandro Tosti
South AfricaChristiaan Bezuidenhout, Erik van Rooyen
New ZealandRyan Fox, Daniel Hillier
PolandAdrian Meronk
ChileJoaquin Niemann, Cristobal Del Solar
FinlandSami Valimaki
TaiwanKevin Yu, C.T. Pan
NetherlandsJoost Luiten, Darius van Driel
ChinaCarl Yuan, Dou Zecheng
ColombiaCamilo Villegas, Nico Echevarria
ItalyMatteo Manassero, Guido Migliozzi
IndiaShubshankar Sharma, Gaganjeet Bhullar
Puerto RicoRafael Campos
MexicoCarlos Ortiz, Abraham Ancer
ThailandKiradech Aphibarnrat, Phachara Khongwatmai
MalaysiaGavin Green
Jonny Leighfield
Staff Writer

Jonny Leighfield is our Staff News Writer who joined Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. An improving golfer who still classes himself as ‘one of the worst players on the Golf Monthly team’, Jonny enjoys playing as much as he can and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Opens and is keen to make it an annual pilgrimage.