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Paris Olympics: What to know and who to watch during men’s and women’s golf

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A roadmap to follow for the men’s and women’s golf competition at the Paris Olympics:

Athletes to Watch

—Scottie Scheffler, United States: The Masters champion has been the No. 1 player in the world for more than a year. Scheffler is so far ahead of the rest of golf that his margin atop the world ranking is the largest since the peak years of Tiger Woods.

—Jon Rahm, Spain: He was Scheffler’s closest challenger on the PGA Tour until his shocking decision to join Saudi-funded LIV Golf. Rahm was the reigning U.S. Open champion during the Tokyo Games but had to withdraw because of a positive COVID-19 test.

—Rory McIlroy, Ireland: McIlroy, who is from Northern Ireland, passed on golf’s return to the Olympics in 2016 in part because of the pressure of deciding whether to play for Britain or Ireland. He went to the Tokyo Games playing for Ireland and loved the experience. He missed the bronze medal in a playoff and said, “I’ve never tried so hard in my life to finish third.”

—Nelly Korda, United States: The Olympic gold medalist in Tokyo, Korda recently ran off five straight victories on the LPGA Tour to reclaim the No. 1 ranking and establish herself anew as the best player in the women’s game.

—Lydia Ko, New Zealand: Ko started the LPGA season with a victory and is closing in on enough points for the LPGA Hall of Fame. She is the only woman to earn an Olympic medal in Rio de Janeiro (silver) and Tokyo (bronze).

—Celine Boutier, France: Boutier had a breakout season in 2023 with four victories, including her first major at the Evian Championships in France. She is certain to be a crowd favorite at Le Golf National.

Storylines to Follow

—Golf is still a relative newcomer, having returned to the Olympic program in 2016. But it could see its first repeat gold medalists in Xander Schauffele and Nelly Korda. Schauffele recently won his first major at the PGA Championship.

—Le Golf National has hosted the French Open all but two times since 1991 and is most famous for hosting the 2018 Ryder Cup. Rahm and McIlroy were on that European team. Ludvig Aberg was part of Sweden’s silver medal team in the World Amateur Team Championship in 2022.

—The LIV effect will be on display in the Olympics. LIV could have as many as seven players at the Paris Games, led by Rahm and Joaquin Niemann of Chile.

Key Dates

The Official World Golf Ranking from June 17 determines the 60-player field for the men’s competition. The OWGR from June 24 determines the 60 players for the women’s competition. Countries may have two players, or up to four players if they are among the top 15 in the OWGR.

The men’s competition is Aug. 1-4. The women’s competition is Aug. 7-10.

Reigning Champion

Men: Xander Schauffele.

Women: Nelly Korda.

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AP Summer Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2024-paris-olympic-games

By The Associated Press

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