April 29, 2020 / 3:06 PM / in a month

Golf: Tokyo Olympic qualifying extended into June next year

(Reuters) - Qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic golf tournament will be extended to June 2021 to accommodate the year-long delay caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the International Golf Federation (IGF) said on Tuesday.

For the men’s Olympic Golf Ranking (OGR), points can now be accumulated through the period ending June 12, 2021 while the women’s qualifying will run through June 28.

The field for both men and women will consist of 60 players.

The OGR is based on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) for men and the Women’s World Golf Rankings (WWGR).

The governing boards of the OWGR and WWGR determined in March that the rankings would be suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the 2020 Tokyo Games to be postponed until July 23-Aug. 8 next year.

A decision on the resumption of rankings has not yet been made.

“Having received from the IOC confirmation of the dates for when the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be held and the qualification principles, the fairest and most equitable way to determine the qualifying athletes was to align the previous qualification system with these new dates,” Antony Scanlon, IGF Executive Director, said in a statement.

“We are pleased that the IOC swiftly approved these changes to provide clarity on this important area.”

The top 15 players at the end of the qualifying period will be eligible for the Olympics, with a limit of four players from any given country.

Beyond the top 15, players will be eligible based on 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 will be guaranteed a spot, as will each of the five continental regions.

Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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