World No.1 Nelly Korda takes a three-shot lead into the final round of the Women’s Olympic Golf Tournament as the USA stay on course to take gold in both Tokyo 2020 events at Kasumigaseki Country Club following Xander Schauffele’s success in the men’s tournament.
A two-under par 69 in the third round put Nelly Korda in pole position to add a gold medal to the maiden Major she won at last month’s KPMG Women’s US PGA Major title.
The 22-year-old leads by three shots from India’s Aditi Ashok, one of only two other players in the field to produce three rounds in the 60s.
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Lyydia Ko, who won silver for New Zealand at Rio 2016, is in a four way tie for third heading into the final day, alongside Australia’s Hannah Green, Denmark’s Emily Kristine Pedersen and Japan’s Mone Inami. They’re five shots back from Korda.
Barring a miracle, Inbee Park’s hopes of defending her Olympic title are over with the South Korean seven shots outside the medal places on three-under, 12 shots behind the leader.
Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow maintains hope of a podium place. She’s bounced back from her one-over par opening round with a five-under 66 and three-under 68 to sit in a tie for 10th on seven-under.
Team GB’s hopes of a medal are over. Jodie Ewart Shadoff is nine shots off the podium places in a tie for 34th, while Mel Reid’s struggles continued in the third round, a five-over par 76 following rounds of 73 and 75 leaves her propping up the field in a tie for 56th.
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The standings after 54 holes at Tokyo 2020.
4th round round tee times and groupings at Kasumigaseki Country Club.
All times BST – Tokyo is eight hours ahead.
10.30pm (Fri): Daniela Darquea; Bianca Pagdanganan; Carlota Ciganda
10.42pm (Fri): Inbee Park; Klara Spilkova; Min Lee
10.54pm (Fri): Perrine Delacour; Yuka Saso; Wei-Ling Hsu
11.06pm (Fri): Hyojoo Kim; Caroline Masson; Anna Nordqvist
11.18pm (Fri): Albane Valenzuela; Sanna Nuutinen; Leona Maguire
11.30pm (Fri): Sei Young Kim; Jin Young Ko; Xiyu Lin
11.42pm (Fri): Matilda Castren; Shanshan Feng; Stephanie Meadow
11.54pm (Fri): Nasa Hataoka; Madelene Sagstrom; Nanna Koerstz Madsen
12.06am (Sat): Hannah Green; Emily Kristine Pedersen; Mone Inami
12.18am: Nelly Korda; Aditi Ashok; Lydia Ko
10.35pm (Fri): Patty Tavatanakit; Maria Fassi; Jessica Korda
10.47pm (Fri): Jodi Ewart Shadoff; Manon de Roey; Minjee Lee
10.59pm (Fri): Gaby Lopez; Lexi Thompson; Danielle Kang
11.11pm (Fri): Celine Boutier; Brooke Henderson; Sophia Popov
11.23pm (Fri): Ariya Jutanugarn; Alena Sharp; Pia Babnik
11.35pm (Fri): Giulia Molinaro; Maha Haddioui; Kim Metraux
11.47pm (Fri): Azahara Munoz; Kelly Tan; Diksha Dagar
11.59pm (Fri): Mariajo Uribe; Maria Torres; Tiffany Chan
12.11am (Sat): Anne van Dam; Christine Wolf, Magdalena Simmermacher
12.23am (Sat): Mel Reid; Lucrezia Colombotto; Tonje Daffinrud
Qualification position in parentheses
Argentina: Magdalena Simmermacher (57)
Austria: Christine Wolf (53)
Australia: Minjee Lee (14), Hannah Green (15)
Belgium: Manon De Roey (52)
Canada: Brooke Henderson (7), Alena Sharp (41)
China: Shanshan Feng (16), Xiyu Lin (26)
Chinese Taipei: Wei-Ling Hsu (33), Min Lee (39)
Colombia: Mariajo Uribe (55)
Czech Republic: Klara Spilkova (51)
Denmark: Nanna Koerstz Madsen (23), Emily Kristine Pedersen (29)
Ecuador: Daniela Darquea (56)
Finland: Matilda Castren (31), Sanna Nuutinen (49)
France: Celine Boutier (24), Perrine Delacour (37)
Germany: Sophia Popov (18), Caroline Masson (28)
Great Britain: Melissa Reid (21), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (35)
Hong Kong: Tiffany Chan (48)
India: Aditi Ashok (45)
Ireland: Leona Maguire (25), Stephanie Meadow (38)
Italy: Giulia Molinaro (36), Lucrezia Colombotto Rosso (58)
Japan: Nasa Hataoka (11), Mone Inami (19)
Malaysia: Kelly Tan (42)
Mexico: Gaby Lopez (27), Maria Fassi (46)
Morocco: Maha Haddioui (59)
Netherlands: Anne van Dam (40)
New Zealand: Lydia Ko (10)
Norway: Marianne Skarpnord (50), Tonje Daffinrud (60)
Philippines: Yuka Saso (8), Bianca Pagdanganan (44)
Puerto Rico: Maria Fernanda Torres (47)
Slovenia: Pia Babnik (54)
South Africa: Ashleigh Buhai (32)
South Korea: Jin Young Ko (2), Inbee Park (3), Sei Young Kim (4), Hyo-Joo Kim (6)
Spain: Carlota Ciganda (20), Azahara Munoz (34)
Sweden: Anna Nordqvist (22), Madelene Sagstrom (30)
Switzerland: Albane Valenzuela (43), Morgane Metraux
Thailand: Patty Tavatanakit (12), Ariya Jutanugarn (17)
United States: Nelly Korda (1), Danielle Kang (5), Lexi Thompson (9), Jessica Korda (13)
Women’s Olympic Golf preview
Everything you need to know about the women’s Olympic Golf Tournament at Tokyo 2020 as Mel Reid and Jodi Ewart Shadoff vie for a medal for Team GB at Kasumigaseki Country Club.
Unlike the men’s event, all three women’s Olympic Golf medal winners from the Rio 2016 games will be in Tokyo looking to make the podium again. Inbee Park will be going for a second gold for South Korea with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko and China’s Shanshan Feng be looking to improve on their silver and bronze medals respectively. The three will play together in the opening two rounds at Tokyo 2020.
Qualfiers for the women’s Olympic golf event were confirmed after the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, where Nelly Korda triumphed and became World No.1. The full field has now been confirmed and Korda will join sister Jessica, Danielle Kang and Lexi Thompson in representing the United States in Tokyo.
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South Korea will also have four representatives in the field with Jin Young Ko, Sei Young Kim and Hyo-Joo-Kim joining Inbee Park.
Charley Hull and Georgia Hall both turned down their spots leaving Mel Reid and Jodi Ewart Shadoff to go for gold for Great Britain.
“We grew up playing together,” Reid said of Ewart Shadoff. “She’s trying to beat me and I’m trying to beat her but if I don’t pick up the medal, I absolutely want her to pick up a medal. It will be a unique experience. I think it will be really, really cool.”
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Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow will play for Ireland with Maguire heading to Tokyo off the back of a low Major record-equalling 61 at the Evian Championship. Minjee Lee, who won her first Major in France, will head to Japan as one of the favourites as she represents Australia alongside fellow Major champion Hannah Green.
Reigning Women’s Open champion Sophia Popov will play for Germany with Caroline Masson, while home hopes will rest with Nasa Hataoka and Mone Inami. Solheim Cup star Ann van Dam will play for the Netherlands with fellow Team Europe players Anna Norqvist and Madelene Sagstrom will aim to win gold for Sweden,
“We are extremely pleased with the strength and diversity of both the men’s and women’s fields, which reflect the continued growth and popularity of golf,” said Annika Sorenstam, President of the International Golf Federation, which oversees the Olympic golf competition.
“We have such wonderful storylines to share, be it Jon Rahm and Nelly Korda both winning major championships in the final week of qualifying to become the No.1 players in the world, or the variety of lesser known but equally inspiring stories of Olympic athletes representing their respective countries.”
How do you qualify to play in the Olympic Golf events?
The world’s top-15 players are eligible for the Olympics, with a maximum limit of four players from any country.
Beyond the top-15, players are eligible based on the world rankings, with a maximum of two eligible players from each country that does not already have two or more players among the top-15.
The host country is guaranteed a place, as is each of the five Olympics continents.
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What is the Olympic Golf format?
Both the men’s and women’s golf event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be a 72 hole individual stroke play tournament with no cut after two rounds, meaning all of the competitiors will play all four rounds.
Tee times and groups for the opening two rounds will be announced two days before the start of each event with threeball play expected. Tee times and pairings for the final two rounds will be decided based on scores and positions, with the leading players going off last.
Both events will operate a one-tee start with all players going off the first tee across the four days.
On the tree-lined East Course at Kasumigaseki Country Club, one of the oldest golf clubs in Japan and around an hour north of the Olympic Village.
Founded in 1929, the East Course has hosted the Japan Open twice, most recently in 1995, and was the venue for the Canada Cup (now known as the World Cup of Golf) in 1957.
Four years ago, the club bowed to pressure from the IOC who threatened to move the tournament to an alternative venue if they did not grant women full membership rights. Under their previous rules, women were prohibited from playing on Sundays.
Tom and Logan Fazio recently completed a full-scale renovation of the par-71 parkland course – at a cost of around $13m to the club – which included the removal of the traditional Japanese dual green system, which is used to combat extreme weather.
By transitioning to just one Bentgrass green per hole, the Fazios were able to add over 400 yards to the course and extend the hillside layout to 7,466 yards. More recently it has been compared to Quail Hollow because of the many elevated greens, generous and slaloming Zoysiagrass fairways and big, burly bunkers. Thick Zoysiagrass rough will grab any wayward shots. The expectation is that the course will favour the long hitters, especially as the three par 5s range from 586 yards to 640 yards for the men.
It’s a bit of a cliché, but the last two holes are likely to be where both competitions will be won or lost. The 17th is the only par 4 on the course which is driveable for the big hitters and boasts one of its largest greens, albeit one which is well protected by a front bunker. The par-4, dog-leg 18th is all about the second shot and plays downhill towards a two-tier green, guarded by a trio of bunkers, which slopes down towards a lake.
What will the weather conditions be?
Saitama, where Kasumigaseki is located, is one of the hottest locations in Japan! The average temperature over the past three years during the scheduled competition dates is 31.7°C. However, during a test event, rain, thunder storms and the threat of lightning caused frequent delays.
You can watch live coverage and highlights of the action from Kasumigaseki Country Club on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and online; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sports Extra and Sounds; live text and video clips on BBC Sport website and app.
Women’s Olympic Golf tournament coverage
Thursday: Discovery+ has full live coverage of the entire round from 11pm (Weds); BBC One/Red Button will show limited coverage from 12am
Friday: Discovery+ has full live coverage of the entire round from 11pm (Thurs); BBC One/Red Button will show limited coverage from 12am
Saturday: Discovery+ has full live coverage of the entire round from 11pm (Fri); BBC One/Red Button will show limited coverage from 12am
Sunday: Discovery+ has full live coverage of the entire round from 11pm (Sat); BBC One/Red Button has full live coverage from 12am
How do I get discovery+?
If you’re a Sky customer then you can subscribe to discovery+ (free for 12 months for Sky Q customers – click here to find out more), which will show all of the action from all four days of the women’s golf tournament, along with a huge selection of other Olympic events on individual streams, live.
USA’s Xander Schauffele won the men’s Olympic Golf gold medal at Tokyo 2020 after a dramatic final day at the Kasumigaseki Country Club, but there was bronze medal play-off disappointment for Paul Casey and Rory McIlroy.
Xander Schauffele is the Olympic Golf champion, returning to the winner’s circle exactly 1,000 days after his last win. The four-time PGA Tour winner had seen his overnight one-shot lead wiped out but birdied the 71st hole and made a dramatic up-and-down on the final holes to clinch the gold medal by one shot on 18-under par.
It was a special victory for Schauffele, whose mother is Tokyo born and whose father, his swing coach, is a former German decathlete whose own Olympic hopes were ended when he was left blind in one eye after a car accident.
Rory Sabbatini shot an Olympic record 10-under par 61 to take the silver on 17-under par for Slovakia with Chinese Taipei’s C T Pan triumphing from a seven-man play-off that included Team GB’s Paul Casey, Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and USA’s Collin Morikawa, to win the bronze medal.
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“I really wanted to win for my dad. I am sure he is crying somewhere right now. I kind of wanted this one more than any other,” said World No.5 Schauffele.
“You are trying to represent your country to the best of your ability and then you add family stuff on top of that. I’m probably going to have a nice call with my grandparents tonight.
“Everyone is back home watching. I was feeling the love from San Diego and Las Vegas this whole time. I’m a little speechless right now, quite honestly.”
Schauffele led by one shot heading into the final day and he was three ahead after a birdieing the openingh two holes. Two further birdies followed on the front nine, but as Sabbatini stormed through the field, the American hit a poor drive into bushes on the 14th, forcing him to take a penalty drop shot and make bogey to slip into a tie for the lead.
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As Sabbatini prepared for a play-off on the range, Schauffele made a clutch up-and-down birdie from a greenside bunker on 17 to take a one-shot lead to the final hole. A wayward drive forced the 27-year-old to play back out into the fairway but a sublime wedge approach left him the simplest of par putts to sign for a two-under 68 and seal the Olympic glory he’d long dreamed of.
But the drama wasn’t done there. McIlroy came agonisingly close to a birdie on the final hole that would’ve seen him take bronze, leaving seven players on 15-under par and facing a huge play-off.
McIlroy was joined by Casey, Morikawa, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, Chinese Taipei’s C T Pan, Chile’s Mito Pereira and Colombia’s Sebastian Munoz.
Casey was the first to drop out after failing to recover from a wayward drive down the par-4 18th, with home hope Matsuyama also failing to make par.
The five remaining then all made three at the par-three 10th, despite good birdie opportunites.
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Two-time Major champion Morikawa then pitched to two feet on the 11th to seemingly clinch the medal, but Pan followed him down for birdie.
World number 118 Pereira lipped out, McIlroy burned the edge and Munoz bogeyed to leave just two players in it.
The final pair headed back to the 18th and Morikawa looked in control once again as Pan found a heavy lie off the tee. But as Pan found the green, the Open champion’s approach plugged in the face of the bunker and he couldn’t get up and down.
It was arguably the right result with Pan shooting a closing 63, matching the previous Olympic record, to get into the shootout, having been 58th out of the 60-man field after Thursday’s opening round.
For Sabbatini, the silver medal for Slovakia marked a successful end to a complicated journey.
South African-born Sabattini is a US citizen and holds a UK passport, but after marrying Slovakian Martina Stofanikova it was suggested he could apply for citizenship.
The idea came from Stofanika’s cousin, Rastislav Antala, then vice president of the Slovak Golf Association (now president) with Sabbatini making the decision to support his wife, stepson and help raise the profile of golf in the country. He wasn’t even aware that he’d be eligible to represent the country at the Olympics when he made the decision.
“It sounds quite amazing,” Sabbatini said of will a medal. “It doesn’t sound like it belongs to me. But crazy game this sport we play. So somehow found that golden egg today and I managed to get something achieved, which I didn’t was possible after yesterday.”
Meanwhile Team GB’s Casey spoke of an overwhelming feeling of pride despite his play-off heartbreak and made his feelings clear on those who turned down the chance to play in Tokyo.
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“Great emotions, but frustration at the same time,” said Casey. “It’s highlighted to us how much the Olympics means to everybody.
“”The golfers that passed on it, I’ve got no words for them, all I would say is that I think representing your country is the greatest thing can you do.”
McIlroy, who had said before the tournament that he’d never dreamed of winning an Olympic medal, admitted he’d had a change of heart after being part of the games.
“I’ve never tried so hard in my life to finish third. It’s not a position that I find myself in very often,” the Northern Irishman, who was eligible to play for Team GB but represented Ireland at amateur level, told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“The nice consolation is it’s not going to be my last chance, I’ll be back in Paris in three years’ time and will give it my all.
“This isn’t just another golf tournament, it’s much bigger than that, and I didn’t realise that until I got here.”
GB’s Tommy Fleetwood and Ireland Shane Lowry both entered the final round with high hopes of a medal, but rounds of 70 (-1) and 71 (E) respectively left them in ties for 16th and 22nd as the rest of the field made big moves.
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Qualification position in parentheses
Australia: Cameron Smith (12), Marc Leishman (18)
Austria: Matthias Schwab (31), Sepp Straka (42)
Belgium: Thomas Detry (27), Thomas Pieters (29)
Canada: Corey Conners (15), Mackenzie Hughes (22)
Chile: Joaquin Niemann (13), Mito Pereira (38)
China: Yechun Yuan (56), Ashun Wu (58)
Colombia: Sebastian Munoz (23)
Czech Republic: Ondrej Lieser (49)
Denmark: Rasmus Hojgaard (32), JB Hansen (40)
Finland: Kalle Samooja (30), Sami Valimaki (33)
France: Antoine Rozner (26), Romain Langasque (45)
Germany: Max Kieffer (47), Hurly Long (52)
Great Britain: Paul Casey (9), Tommy Fleetwood (14)
India: Anirban Lahiri (59), Udayan Mane (60)
Ireland: Rory McIlroy (6), Shane Lowry (17)
Italy: Guido Migliozzi (24)
*Francesco Molinari (36) had also been due to play for Italy but withdrew after The Open with a back injury.
Japan: Hideki Matsuyama (8), Rikuya Hoshino (25)
Malaysia: Gavin Green (55)
Mexico: Abraham Ancer (10), Carlos Ortiz (21)
New Zealand: Ryan Fox (43)
Norway: Viktor Hovland (7), Kristian K Johannessen (57)
Paraguay: Fabrizio Zanotti (53)
Phillipines: Juvic Pagunsan (48)
Poland: Adrian Meronk (46)
Puerto Rico: Rafael Campos (54)
South Africa: Garrick Higgo (16), Christiaan Bezuidenhout (19)
South Korea: Sungjae Im (11), Si Woo Kim (20)
Slovakia: Rory Sabbatini (41)
Spain: Adri Arnaus, Jorge Campillo
Jon Rahm (1) forced to withdraw due to a positive Covid-19 test
Sweden: Alex Noren (28), Henrik Norlander (37)
Taiwan: CT Pan (44)
Thailand: Jazz Janewattananond (34), Gunn Charoenkul (51)
USA: Justin Thomas (2), Collin Morikawa (3), Xander Schauffele (4), Patrick Reed*
*Reed replaced Bryson DeChambeau (5) who was forced to withdraw after a positive Covid-19 test
Venezuela: Jhonattan Vegas (35)
Zimbabwe: Scott Vincent (50)
At the meeting of the Organising Committee for the 1900 Games, the group responsible for Athletics Games included golf in the list of sports featured on the programme for the following year’s event in Paris.
Golf appeared at the Olympics for the first time in Paris. It was won by America’s Charles Sands (82-85). There was also an amateur event, won by 10-handicap Albert Lambert, who was only in the city
It was also on the programme of the games in St Louis, at a new specially-built course (the first to be built west of the Mississippi). Canada’s George Lyon beat American H Chandler Egan by a 3&2 scoreline in the final.
Lyon crossed the Atlantic to defend his medal in London. But an R&A row with organisers over player eligibility saw all GB and US players pull out, forcing the event to be cancelled. Lyons was offered gold by default but spurned it.
1914: As it was an optional sport, golf was not included in the 1912 Stockholm games – although a few Swedish courses did exist at the time, the sport was still not popular in the country.
1920: The Olympics were held in Antwerp, Belgium, and a golf event was due to happen at Cappelen. But again a lack of entries stopped it and, in 1921, it was taken off the list of ‘optional sports’ by the IOC Congress.
2008: The International Golf Federation named Jack Nicklaus and Annika Sorenstam as ambassadors for the Olympic cause. “It can have tremendous impact on the growth of golf where it is developing,” said Nicklaus.
2009: After years of campaigning by the R&A, USGA and PGA, the IOC decided to reinstate golf from 2016. Golf was passed by 63 votes to 27, beating softball, squash, baseball, karate and roller sports to a place.
2012: Architect Gil Hanse is chosen to design and build the Olympic Golf course for Rio 2016. The renowned American designer beats off the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman and Gary Player to be commissioned.
2016: The Olympic Golf Course, a par 71 stretching to 7,128 yards, opens having cost roughly $19 million to create.
Justin Rose wins gold for Great Britain in the men’s tournament with Henrik Stenson taking silver for Sweden and Matt Kuchar winning bronze for the USA. In the women’s tournament Inbee Park took gold for South Korea, with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko winning the silver and China’s Shanshan Feng wearing the bronze.
As well as winning gold, Rose became the first player to make a hole-in-one in Olympic Golf history.
2017: Golf’s place at Tokyo 2020 is confirmed.
2020: The Covid-19 global health pandemic sees the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games postponed for 12 months.
2021: The Olympic Games goes ahead without fans with the men’s and women’s golf tournaments played across the East Course at Kasumigaseki Country Club. Covid-19 sees World No.1 Jon Rahm and World No.6 Bryson DeChambeau, both Major champions, ruled out just days before the men’s tournament begins.
USA’s Xander Schauffele wins gold with Slovakia’s Rory Sabbatini taking the silver medal and C T Pan winning a seven-man play-off to take the bronze medal for Chinese Taipei.
The future: The Olympic Games head to Paris in 2024 with the men’s and women’s tournaments due to be played at Le Golf National, host venue of the 2018 Ryder Cup and the French Open.
Four years later the games are due to be hosted by Los Angeles, with the renowned Riviera Country Club earmarked to host the Olympic Golf tournaments.
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