Almost certainly, Tiger Woods will not have to compete in Tokyo in 2020. Some athletes who are now injured or who would miss qualification requirements have gained a second opportunity to make it to the Japanese capital thanks to the postponing of the Olympic Games to 2021.
Woods was one of them despite having a fantastic year in 2019.
In April of last year, the American golfer won the Masters major competition, his 15th major and first in 11 years. In October of the same year, he won his 82nd PGA Tour title, which tied the tour record.
Woods reaffirmed his desire to compete in the Olympics at that October tournament, adding, “it would be an honour to represent my nation.”
However, based on the Official World Golf Ranking, which also serves as the Olympic Golf Rankings, only two or four male golfers from each country will be eligible to compete in the competition at the Games.
The United States is now the only country that meets the criteria to send four.
Since the Covid-19 coronavirus epidemic has forced the suspension of golf tournaments, the previously scheduled ranking cut-off date of June 22 must be postponed.
Woods now ranks as the seventh-best American. The world’s fifth best golfer, Dustin Johnson, has decided to not compete in the Olympics. However, there are still two other golfers who would be chosen before Woods.
Woods had back troubles and poor early season play, so he opted to skip the Players Championship tournament in March (which was ultimately cancelled), costing him valuable points in the rankings.
The 44-year-Olympic old’s ambition is still very much alive thanks to the postponing of the Games.
The Golf Legend has Competed in the Olympics Before.
Woods went to the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles when he was just eight years old. Friends of his have also participated in the Olympics, both in golf and in other sports.
Woods remarked in May that he has never participated in the Olympics and that he doubts he will have another chance. The Kasumigaseki Country Club in Tokyo is sure to see more than just him if he makes it there.
In spite of skipping golf’s return to the Olympics in Rio 2016, world number one Rory McIlroy has hinted he will play for Ireland in Tokyo. Meanwhile, world number two Jon Rahm is expected to play for Spain with Sergio Garca, who tied for seventh in Rio.
If Woods isn’t among the top four Americans by the new rankings cut-off date, he may need just think back to Rio to find encouragement.
Due to withdrawals, sixth-best American Matt Kuchar was able to compete in Brazil, where he went on to win bronze.