No more gaffes as Gavin faces tense battle to secure Olympics spot

  • Golf
  • Wednesday, 09 Jun 2021

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s top golfer Gavin Green faces a nervy battle to qualify for his second Olympic Games in Tokyo with less than two weeks before the qualifying period draws to a close.

The 27-year-old, whose form has dipped drastically since late last year, finds himself in danger of missing the top 60 cut for the July 23-Aug 8 showpiece after slipping two more rungs to 58th in the updated International Golf Federation (IGF) Olympic rankings yesterday.

Gavin was still placed a solid 49th last November, but he’s paying a heavy price for underperforming in the first half of this season.

Gavin’s failure to gain further points since his top-10 finish at the Cyprus Showdown last November saw him drop from 171st to 276th in his latest position on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR).

The IGF are utilising the OWGR to determine a golfer’s eligibility.

A nation can qualify a maximum of four golfers provided all of them are ranked in the top 15.

Beyond the top 15, a country can only have a maximum of two representatives.

The 60th and final qualifying berth is currently occupied by Rafael Campos of Puerto Rico. He’s ranked 288th on OWGR.

Sitting just two places above the cut line, Gavin knows he needs to salvage something out of this week’s Scandinavian Mixed championship in Gothenburg, which starts tomorrow, or risk being overtaken by his closest pursuers.

Gavin will need at least a top-10 finish to make a difference.

There are still a handful of golfers with an outside chance to break into the top 60 of the Olympic rankings before the June 21 deadline.

They are Norwegian duo Kristian K. Johannessen (290th) and Kris Ventura (310th), China’s Zhang Xinjun (324th) and Wu Aushun (334th), India’s Anirban Lahiri (354th) and Fabian Gomez of Argentina (405th).

Ventura, Xinjun, Anirban and Fabian are all starting in this week’s US PGA Tour’s Palmetto Championship in California and a top-five finish could hand them a major boost.

In his Olympics debut in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Gavin finished 47th out of 60 competitors.

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Gavin Green , Tokyo Olympics , golf


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