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EXPLAINER: Golf at the Tokyo Olympics

/ 07:00 PM July 17, 2021

Things to know about the golf competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics:

THE ABSOLUTE BASICS

Players are seen on a green in the Women's individual stroke play at the Olympic Golf course during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on August 17, 2016. (Photo by Greg BAKER / AFP)

Players are seen on a green in the Women’s individual stroke play at the Olympic Golf course during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on August 17, 2016. (Photo by Greg BAKER / AFP)

  • Golfers play four rounds of 18 holes each day over four days, with the player totaling the fewest combined strokes declared the winner.
  • In the event of a tie for any of the first three positions, a three-hole playoff will determine the medal winners.
  • 60 men and 60 women are participating, based on the world rankings.

HOW MANY MEDALS?

There is one medal event for men and one for women.

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WHAT HAPPENED IN RIO?

Golf returned to the Olympic program in Rio after a 112-year absence. In the men’s event, Justin Rose of Britain won the gold, with Henrik Stenson of Sweden taking silver and Matt Kuchar of the United States winning bronze.

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Park Inbee of South Korea won the first women’s gold for 116 years, with Lydia Ko of New Zealand claiming silver and China’s Feng Shanshan taking bronze.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN TOKYO?

From L-R: Philippine golfers in Tokyo--Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan and Juvic Pagunsan.

From L-R: Philippine golfers in Tokyo–Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan and Juvic Pagunsan. AFP FILE/CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

Three golfers will be representing the Philippines in the tournament in Tokyo: Yuka Saso, a top gold medal prospect for the country, Bianca Pagdanganan, and Juvic Pagunsan.

Like other outdoor events, heat can be the toughest challenge in golf events. According to official data, the highest temperature in the area where the golf will take place exceeded 30C(86F) each day in August 2020.

WHAT’S NEW?

Golf saw various rule changes adopted in 2019 and they will be part of the Olympic events in Tokyo. One of which allows players to putt on the green with the flagstick still in the hole, a moved aimed at speeding up play.

WHEN IS IT HAPPENING?

Men: July 29 to Aug. 1

Women: Aug. 4 to Aug. 7

WHERE IS IT HAPPENING?

Golfers walk down the first hole fairway during the Japan junior golf championships, a test event ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kasumigaseki country club in Kawagoe on August 14, 2019

Golfers walk down the first hole fairway during the Japan junior golf championships, a test event ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kasumigaseki country club in Kawagoe on August 14, 2019. (Photo by TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA / AFP)

Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kawagoe City, Saitama. It is one of the most prestigious clubs in Japan, founded in 1929 and is located 60km away from Olympic Village.

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HOW DID WE GET HERE?

Evidence suggests that early forms of golf were played in the Netherlands in the 17th century while some say that a game played in China during the Ming Dynasty was introduced to Europe by traders during the Middle Ages. The modern form of golf was largely developed in Scotland.

WELL FANCY THAT

The club hosting the Olympic tournament only scrapped its male-only policy in 2017 after coming under fire at home and abroad for not endorsing gender equality. Before that, women were not allowed to play on Sundays or become full members.

RELATED STORIES

The Tokyo Olympics 2020 Philippine team 

Shot at Olympic glory still not enough for some golfers

Pagdanganan thinks golf can give PH its first Olympic gold

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