Olympic men’s golf field: Here’s every competitor in Tokyo, ranked
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Up to this point the focus on the Olympic men’s golf competition has focused on who won’t be in attendance. Some opted out, like Dustin Johnson or Louis Oosthuizen. Others ran into Covid-positive tests, like Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau. Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth didn’t finish high enough in the U.S. rankings. Tiger Woods is injured. Brooks Koepka passed on an alternate spot. You get the idea.
But now it’s time for the actual Olympics themselves, so no more moping allowed. Let’s focus on the gang in attendance at Kasumigaseki Country Club. Without further ado, here is the complete field, ranked according to MGM’s odds page, with exactly one sentence about each competitor.
TOKYO OLYMPIC MEN’S GOLF COMPLETE FIELD
Ranked by tiers, seven through one — one sentence per golfer.
TIER 7: DIAL UP THAT WIKIPEDIA PAGE!
Udayan Mane, India (1000-1)
Mane plays most of his golf on the Tata Steel Professional Golf Tour of India, where he has won five times since the tour got world-ranking sanctioned in 2019.
Ondrej Lieser, Czech Republic (750-1)
Lieser was the first Czech golfer to ever win on the European Tour and breaks the golf mold by competing in glasses and no hat.
Juvic Pagunsan, Philippines (500-1)
Pagunsan got plenty of attention when he qualified for the Open Championship with just 11 clubs in his bag — but there was far less fanfare when he skipped the Open to prep for the Olympics instead.
Gunn Charoenkul, Thailand (500-1)
Charoenkul has put together a solid career across Asia for the better part of a decade but doesn’t enter the Games in his top form; in 10 Japan Golf Tour starts this year he has just a single top-20 finish.
Gavin Green, Malaysia (500-1)
Not to be confused with the clothing company Galvin Green, nor with his brother, Galven Green, Gavin Green was an eight-time winner and three-time All-American at the University of New Mexico.
K.K. Johannessen, Norway (400-1)
Asked why he didn’t become a ski jumper like his father, Johannessen had a simple explanation: “Yeah, I’m just too fat.”
Hurly Long, Germany (400-1)
Long owns a decent claim to fame: He’s the course record-holder at Pebble Beach, where he shot a second-round 61 at the Carmel Cup in 2017, competing for Texas Tech.
Ashun Wu, China (350-1)
Wu, 36, became the first Chinese golfer to win on the Japan Golf Tour in 2012 and the first Chinese golfer to win three times on the European Tour after his KLM Open win in 2018.
TIER 6: VAGUELY FAMILIAR FROM A LEADERBOARD…
Rafael Campos, Puerto Rico (350-1)
Campos plays well on home turf, specifically the Puerto Rico Open, where he finished T8 in 2016, T10 in 2017 and T3 earlier this year.
Jorge Campillo, Spain (300-1)
Campillo, who replaced Jon Rahm last-minute, was listed as Spain’s top-ranked amateur for six different years before turning pro in 2010.
Sami Valimaki, Finland (300-1)
Valimaki, who is just 23, won four times on the Pro Golf Tour in 2019 and then won the 2020 Oman Open in his sixth-ever European Tour start.
Joachim B. Hansen, Denmark (300-1)
In 2019 I made the case that Hansen could be the owner of the greatest shank in golf history:
Fabrizio Zanotti, Paraguay (300-1)
Zanotti was among golf’s stars of the show at the Opening Ceremony, carrying the Paraguayan flag and wearing a splendid striped outfit:
Scott Vincent, Zimbabwe (250-1)
Vincent is a five-time runner-up on the Asian Tour but has yet to get across the line for a victory — although he does have a win on the Abema TV Tour.
Renato Paratore, Italy (250-1)
Paratore is one of the fastest professional golfers anywhere.
Max Kieffer, Germany (250-1)
The two best European Tour events of Kieffer’s career came in back-to-back weeks earlier this year, when he lost in a playoff to John Catlin and finished second to Garrick Higgo at the Austrian Golf Open and the Gran Canaria Lopesan Open.
Kalle Samooja, Finland (250-1)
Samooja is a lesson in persistence; he first competed in European Tour Q-School in 2008 and finally played his rookie year in 2019.
Adrian Meronk, Poland (250-1)
Meronk went to East Tennessee State University, giving him the same alma mater as Tour pros like Eric Axley and Rhys Ravies as well as country music star Kenny Chesney.
TIER 5: THE SLEEPY SLEEPER PICKS
Rory Sabbatini, Slovakia (200-1)
Sabbatini was born in South Africa but in 2019 changed his official country of residence to Slovakia, the home country of his wife Martina Stofanikova, helping his qualification for the Olympics and instantly becoming the most accomplished Slovakian golfer in history.
Romain Langasque, France (200-1)
Langasque won the British Amateur in 2015, earning him entry to the 2016 Masters, where he tied the amateur back-nine record with a five-under 31.
Adri Arnaus, Spain (200-1)
There’s an entire section of the website for Golf Moia, Arnaus’ home course in Spain, dedicated to the accomplishments of its most successful golfing product entitled “Discover the field where I grew.”
Sepp Straka, Austria (150-1)
Straka became the first Austrian golfer to earn a PGA Tour card after a successful campaign on the Web.com (now Korn Ferry) Tour in 2018.
Yechun Yuan, China (150-1)
Yuan and his wife Ying Luo each attended the University of Washington before turning pro; Luo last played on the LPGA Tour in 2019.
Rasmus Hojgaard, Denmark (150-1)
Rasmus has ascended to the world’s top levels but his twin brother Nicolai has aspirations of joining him there; Nicolai is No. 404 in the world and currently No. 110 in the Race to Dubai.
C.T. Pan, Chinese Taipei (150-1)
Pan’s lone PGA Tour victory came at the RBC Heritage in 2019; he’s currently battling to make the FedEx Cup Playoffs, where he ranks No. 116.
Anirban Lahiri, India (150-1)
Lahiri has taken advantage of re-earning his PGA Tour card at Korn Ferry Finals in 2019; he’s No. 115 in the FedEx Cup this season on the back of three top-six finishes.
Ryan Fox, New Zealand (125-1)
Fox is the son of professional rugby player Grant Fox, who won the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987 playing for the All Blacks, and the grandson of New Zealand star cricketer Merv Wallace.
Matthias Schwab, Austria (125-1)
Schwab is familiar with bronze medals; he finished T-3 in both the 2016 and 2017 NCAA National Championships.
Jazz Janewattananond, Thailand (125-1)
Janewattananond’s nickname comes from his father, a Thai judge, who is a big fan of jazz music.
Rikuya Hoshino, Japan (100-1)
Hoshino will hit the opening tee shot of this year’s Olympics and said he was nervous based off the 1st fairway, which he described as “very narrow.”
TIER 4: YOU’RE PRETTY SURE YOU’VE SEEN ‘EM ON TOUR
Henrik Norlander, Sweden (100-1)
Norlander went to Augusta State for college and currently belongs to Augusta Country Club, which is adjacent Augusta National.
Antoine Rozner, France (80-1)
Rozner won this year’s Qatar Masters but largely introduced himself to an American audience when he took down Bryson DeChambeau in the first match of the WGC-Dell Match Play some two weeks later.
Mito Pereira, Chile (80-1)
Pereira earned an instant “battlefield promotion” from the Korn Ferry Tour when he claimed his third victory of the KFT season — and hasn’t looked back with two top-six finishes in his first four PGA Tour starts.
Thomas Detry, Belgium (66-1)
It’s been all or nothing for Detry of late, going T2-MC-MC-T2-MC in his last five starts.
Sebastian Munoz, Colombia (66-1)
Munoz’ first three professional wins all came in Colombia: Two on PGA Tour Latinoamerica’s Developmental Series in 2015 and then, playing on a sponsor’s exemption, he won the Web.com’s Club Colombia Championship in early 2016.
Thomas Pieters, Belgium (66-1)
Pieters is a four-time European Tour winner and one of the world’s foremost experts on club-snapping.
TIER 3: THE PELOTON
Mackenzie Hughes, Canada (66-1)
Hughes is trending up after a T14 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and a T6 in his last start at the Open Championship.
Carlos Ortiz, Mexico (66-1)
Ortiz is all in on adapting a team/country format for the Olympics: “I think the format can definitely be better and I think that would engage the country to be more involved and make it more about the country, not individual,” he said on Tuesday.
Jhonattan Vegas, Venezuela (50-1)
Vegas, a three-time PGA Tour winner, became the first Venezuelan golfer to play on the Presidents Cup in 2017.
Guido Migliozzi, Italy (50-1)
Migliozzi went on a summer heater with back-to-back runner-up finishes on the European Tour before capturing hearts and minds with a T4 at the U.S. Open…
Garrick Higgo, South Africa (50-1)
…but nobody has been on a summer heater like Higgo, who won twice in three starts in Europe and then won in his second-ever PGA Tour start at Congaree.
Alex Noren, Sweden (50-1)
Noren owns 10 European Tour titles but is still chasing his first win on American soil.
Si Woo Kim, South Korea (40-1)
At 17, Kim was the youngest player to make it through PGA Tour Q-School when he finished T20 in 2012, and in 2017 he became the youngest-ever Players Championship winner.
Marc Leishman, Australia (40-1)
Leishman shot three under on the back nine Friday of the Open Championship while putting with his sand wedge, missing the cut by just one shot.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout, South Africa (40-1)
Bezuidenhout has been consistent but not quite at the top of his game of late; in his most recent 10 starts he has made every cut but hasn’t finished better than T23.
TIER 2: THE HIPSTER FAVORITES
Tommy Fleetwood, Great Britain (30-1)
Fleetwood’s World Ranking peaked in 2018, when he ascended to No. 9 thanks to a run of incredible consistency and a series of wins on the European Tour.
Sungjae Im, South Korea (25-1)
Im and Stewart Cink, who are neighbors in Atlanta, are the only two players to be named Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year and PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in back-to-back seasons.
Shane Lowry, Ireland (25-1)
Lowry is on a strong run of form with four made cuts at major championships this year including a T4 at the PGA and a T12 defending his Open Championship title.
Joaquin Niemann, Chile (22-1)
Niemann has racked up three runner-up finishes on the PGA Tour this season as he chases his second title, including a T2 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Corey Conners, Canada (22-1)
Conners has developed into one of the Tour’s steadiest ball-strikers, making the cut in 21 of his last 23 PGA Tour starts.
Cameron Smith, Australia (22-1)
Smith looks tremendous.
Abraham Ancer, Mexico (22-1)
Four top-eight finishes in his most recent seven PGA Tour starts means Ancer is entering Tokyo in plenty good form.
Patrick Reed, United States (18-1)
Because of a last-minute addition to the field and a wild travel and testing schedule, Reed is unlikely to get any sort of on-course practice before he steps on the 1st tee Thursday.
Paul Casey, Great Britain (16-1)
Casey was among this year’s best major championship players, finishing T26-T4-T7-T15 at the season’s marquee events.
TIER 1: THE THOROUGHBREDS
Rory McIlroy, Ireland (14-1)
McIlroy, who is from Northern Ireland, faced a tricky decision in picking a national Olympic identity between Great Britain and Ireland.
Viktor Hovland, Norway (12-1)
Hovland’s Norwegian Olympic teammate said he admires the way, “Off the course, I like the way Viktor just doesn’t give a s— about anything other than what’s best for him and I can definitely learn from that.”
Hideki Matsuyama, Japan (12-1)
Matsuyama is competing in his home country as the reigning Masters champion and will face more national pressure than any other golfer in the field.
Justin Thomas, United States (11-1)
Thomas has been hitting the gym hard in advance of this week’s games.
Xander Schauffele, United States (9-1)
Schauffele described the precarious nature of this year’s Olympic Games with particular empathy:
“Man, if you’re sort of in your last leg and let’s say you’re a swimmer from any country and you’re getting to that age and this is your last run and you’ve been preparing for the last three to four years just to compete and you get COVID and you can’t play, I have so much sympathy and empathy for the situation. I can’t even explain it. I would feel really bad and there’s just no way to make it up to the individual because this is the pinnacle for so many other sports.”
Collin Morikawa, United States (7-1)
Morikawa enters this week as the Champion Golfer of the Year, the world No. 3 and the undisputed tournament favorite.
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