The American contingent for men’s golf at the Tokyo Olympics, along with the rest of the field, has been set.
Bryson DeChambeau is in, and Dustin Johnson – despite currently being ranked No. 2 in the world – is out; Johnson has said for months he would not attend the Games, even if he commanded one of the four U.S. spots.
Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele and Collin Morikawa are the other three American qualifiers. If any of the four drops out between now and the first round, Patrick Cantlay will replace him as the first reserve since DeChambeau took Johnson’s spot.
Brooks Koepka and Patrick Reed are the alternates behind Cantlay, based on world ranking.
Reigning U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm, representing his native Spain, will be the top-ranked competitor. Fellow countryman Sergio Garcia will be staying home, saying, “I have made one of the most difficult decisions of my life” and that his primary focus is qualifying for the Ryder Cup, which is contested every two years between the U.S. and a European squad and will be played this September.
The men’s Olympic competition will be held July 29-Aug. 1 at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Japan.
Asked after his final U.S. Open round Sunday what would dissuade him from attending the Games, Schauffele – who hadn’t made a formal decision at the time – replied: “There’s no opening ceremony, no experience of Japan. You’re kind of locked down in your hotel. You can’t go and see other venues or events.
“In terms of an actual Olympics, obviously, you’re playing for some hardware, some gold medals and whatnot, but the overall experience, which I hear is really cool, isn’t going to be there in Japan this year.”
Other notable international golfers who will be making the trip to Tokyo include Paul Casey (Great Britain), Rory McIllroy (Ireland), Shane Lowry (Ireland), Abraham Ancer (Mexico), Sungjae Im (South Korea), Tommy Fleetwood (Great Britain). Reigning Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama (Japan) will be one of two representatives for the host country.
Opting not to play despite qualifying were Great Britain’s Tyrrell Hatton, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Lee Westwood. Major winners Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa) and Martin Kaymer (Germany) also declined their invitations.
In total, 60 golfers will compete. None of the medal winners from 2016 qualified for Tokyo.
Justin Rose, the gold-medal winner from five years, is Great Britain’s top alternate.
The women’s competition is Aug. 4-7, also at Kasumigaseki.
Contributing: Steve DiMeglio, Golfweek
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.