Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect Bryson DeChambeau’s positive Covid-19 test.
The start of the men’s Olympic golf competition is right around the corner, and while several top-tier players opted out of competing in Japan, many of the world’s best are among the field of 60 who will tee it up for 72 holes of stroke play beginning on Wednesday, July 28.
World No. 1 Jon Rahm will be representing Spain while World No. 15 Rory McIlroy will represent Ireland. But which male golfers will represent the United States?
The qualification period for the Olympics ended after the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, which was won by Rahm. The top 15 golfers in the official world golf ranking are Olympic-exempt, up to a maximum of four players from a given country. After the top 15 in the ranking, each country may send a maximum of two players until the field maximum of 60 is reached.
Competition for the U.S. team’s spots was fierce, with 10 players ranked in the world top 15 at the end of the qualification period. Dustin Johnson was the top U.S. qualifier, but because he opted out, he opened up a spot for another top-ranked American to fill.
Here are the four Americans who will compete for gold at Kasumigaseki Country Club.
Fresh off his Open Championship victory, Morikawa is now the third-ranked player in the world. He’s already won both the PGA Championship and the Open Championship on his first try — could a gold medal be next?
Currently ranked No. 4 in the world, Thomas has experience on his side. Though he’s never competed in the Olympics, four of Thomas’ 14 PGA Tour victories have been in Asia: the 2016 and 2017 CIMB Classic in Malaysia, and the 2018 and 2020 CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in South Korea.
World No. 5 Xander Schauffele has four PGA Tour wins on his resume, and he has finished runner-up three times this season. He may also have an edge when it comes to familiarity with the country: Schauffele’s mother was raised in Japan, and Schauffele says he has travelled to Japan more than a handful of times.
The 2018 Masters champ replaces Bryson DeChambeau on the team after DeChambeau’s positive Covid-19. Reed also played in the 2016 Games and tied for 11th.