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Patty and Ariya off to Tokyo Games

Patty and Ariya off to Tokyo Games

GOLF: Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit and Ariya Jutanugarn have officially earned tickets to the Tokyo Olympics.

By Bangkok Post

Thursday 1 July 2021, 01:00PM

Ariya Jutanugarn. Photo: Bangkok Post

Ariya Jutanugarn. Photo: Bangkok Post

Their places in the 60-player field at Tokyo 2020 were confirmed after the qualification process for the women’s golf competition was completed with the final Olympic golf rankings published on Tuesday (June 29).

The women’s tournament will be held at Kasumigaseki Country Club from Aug 4-7 with the Olympics taking place from July 23-Aug 8.

Patty is 12th and Ariya 17th in the Olympic rankings.

It will be the first Olympic appearance for Patty, whose Thai name is Paphangkorn.

She was relatively unknown on the international stage until she won her maiden LPGA Tour event at the ANA Inspiration in April.

The 21-year-old from Bangkok has since finished near the top of the leaderboard in several events and was joint fifth at the Women’s PGA Championship last week.

She is Thailand’s only second major winner after Ariya who won the 2016 Women’s British Open and 2018 US Women’s Open.

Ariya, 25, will play in her second Olympics after a tournament to forget at Rio 2016 where she withdrew in the third round citing a knee injury.

After a title drought, Ariya won her 11th LPGA title at the Honda LPGA Thailand in May.

Jazz Janewattananond and Gunn Charoenkul will represent Thailand in the men’s golf tournament at Tokyo 2020.

The men’s event will be held from July 29-Aug 1, also at Kasumigaseki.

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The Saitama course, which was opened in 1929, has hosted the Japan Open Golf Championship four times.

The International Golf Federation (IGF) will publish the Olympic entry lists for both men’s and women’s events on July 6. Any unused berths will be reallocated.

Meanwhile, sisters Nelly and Jessica Korda are expected to lead the American women’s golf contingent at the Olympics.

Nelly won the Women’s PGA Championship last Sunday (June 27) and moved to No.1 in the world and Olympic rankings.

Both the United States and South Korea qualified four athletes, while other countries were limited to a maximum of two, based on the Olympic rankings.

Also invited to compete for the United States are Danielle Kang and Lexi Thompson. The qualifying South Koreans are Ko Jin-Young, Park In-Bee, Kim Sei-Young and Kim Hyo-Joo.

Park won the gold medal in Rio Games in 2016 when golf made a return to the Olympics. Also qualifying for Tokyo are the other Rio medallists - Lydia Ko of New Zealand (silver) and Feng Shanshan (bronze).

Ko Jin-Young finished No.2 in the Olympic rankings, followed by Park, Kim Sei-Young, Kang, Kim Hyo-Joo, Brooke Henderson of Canada, US Women’s Open champion Yuka Saso of the Philippines, Thompson and Lydia Ko to complete the top 10.

Meanwhile, Nasa Hataoka and Mone Inami have secured spots in the Olympics on home soil while compatriot and 2019 Women’s British Open winner Hinako Shibuno missed out.

Hataoka, beaten in a play-off at the US Women’s Open last month, was the highest among Japanese in the final Olympic rankings at No.11. Inami was 27th and Shibuno 31st.

Shibuno had a chance to grab one of the two berths, but fell short after finishing 40th at the Women’s PGA Championship.

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