Hoylake, England (SportsNetwork.com) - The International Golf Federation announced on Monday the qualification system that will be used to complete the teams for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The IGF officials made the announcement during a press conference at the site of the upcoming British Open, Royal Liverpool Golf Club.
Each of the men's and women's Olympic events will consist of a field of 60 players that will compete in a 72-hole stroke-play format for gold, silver and bronze medals.
The field will be decided by an Olympic Golf Ranking list based on the player's respective official world golf ranking.
That OGF ranking will consist of players within the top 15 on the respective women's and men's official world golf rankings as of July 11, 2016, with the exception that no country can have more than four players in the top 15. If a country has more than four players in the top 15, the balance of the field will be selected in order from 16th place onwards on the respective women's and men's official world golf rankings as of as of July 11, 2016, up to a maximum of two players per country for those countries not already having more than two players within the top 15.
A couple of provisions have also been included to ensure the host country, Brazil, has at least one golfer in each of the male and female competitions if not otherwise eligible, and that each of the five continents of the Olympic Movement will be guaranteed at least one athlete in each of the men's and women's events.
"This is an important milestone on the road to golf's return to the Olympic Games in 2016," IGF President Peter Dawson said. "We are pleased to confirm the eligibility criteria and to give the athletes, National Olympic Committees and National Federations clarity on the qualification process. The world's best players now know what they must achieve to be part of golf's historic return to the Games in Rio de Janeiro."
The two-year qualification period for the Olympic Golf Ranking will run from July 14, 2014, to July 11, 2016, after which the final OGR list will be published at the conclusion of all eligible events.