(ATR) Tiger Woods tees it up at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach on Thursday in search of a 16th major title.
Tiger Woods celebrates his Masters win in April (Getty Images)
Two months after winning his first major for 11 years at The Masters, the now healthy former world number one admits he is looking toward next year and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“Olympic gold medal would be a hell of a feat,” Woods said earlier this week. “First I need to qualify. It would be exciting if I got a chance to represent the United States in the Olympic Games.”
Woods missed out on the return of golf to the Olympics at Rio 2016 due to his back injuries. He would be 44 years old next summer, and realizes this might be his last chance to earn an Olympic berth.
“I don't know how many more times I get a run at it. Next time [in 2024] I'll be 48. I don't have that many chances of playing for the United States in the Olympics. So it will certainly be an honor if I were able to represent the United States.”
Woods, who is currently fifth in the world and the third ranked American, would qualify as of now.
Qualification for Tokyo 2020 is the same as it was for Rio 2016. The top 15 players in the world rankings are guaranteed entry, with a limit of four golfers per country. The Olympic field is limited to 60 for each of the men’s and women’s competitions.
The Olympic tournament will be played on Kasumigaseki Country Club’s East Course, which dates to 1929. Renowned designers Tom and Logan Fazio completed renovations in 2017, raising the caliber while substantially lengthening the venerable course from 6,970 to 7,466 yards.
Tokyo 2020 will be an entirely different situation than in the lead up to Rio 2016, when numerous elite pros opted to skip golf’s return to the Games after 112 years for a myriad of reasons, including concerns over the Zika virus.
Rio 2016 gold medalist Justin Rose will be playing with Woods and Jordan Spieth for the first two rounds of the U.S. Open this week.
Written by Gerard Farek
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