WM Phoenix Open - Final Round
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It is easy to forget because 2024 marks just the third modern iteration of golf in the Olympic Games, but every PGA Tour event going forward will affect the small 60-player field on the men's side this summer. That has been true so far this year where underdog winners like Matthieu Pavon of France have moved into the top qualifying spots for their countries with the 2024 Paris Olympics forthcoming.

It was true again Sunday when Nick Taylor, who was 120-1 to win the WM Phoenix Open, moved to the No. 1 spot for Canada in the Official World Golf Rankings.

Here is a refresher on how players are chosen from different countries.

The top 15 in the OWGR are eligible, but no more than four players can be selected from a given nation. Outside the top 15,"players will be eligible based on the 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."

In other words, the selection process is to keep going down the OWGR until you hit a player who is not from a country that has already hit its maximum of two (or its maximum of four if those players are inside the top 15). That's how you end up with golfers like Daan Huizing (Netherlands), Kalle Samooja (Finland) and Sadom Kaewkanjana (Thailand), all of whom were eligible at the end of January.

Back to Taylor, though. He surged ahead of fellow countrymen Corey Conners (No. 47) and Adam Hadwin (No. 52) on Sunday and moved all the way to No. 28 in the world, which means if the Olympic field was determined today, he and Conners would be the two Canadian selections. Conners was selected for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics along with Mackenzie Hughes. David Hearn and Graham DeLaet represented Canada in 2016.

"Yeah, this fall, again, looking at goals for the season, what I've done so well I think the last year has been process goals. But you want something to look forward, and the Olympics and the Presidents Cup were big time on the top of my goal list," said Taylor on Sunday after winning the Phoenix Open.

"I knew playing good golf would take care of that. This is obviously a good start, I hope. I would love nothing more than to play in those two events and keep playing well here, obviously. There's a lot of great events coming up. I kept saying that this year, that there's a lot of signature events. Obviously, this one was a home game, and the Masters, this will be only my second time playing. I have a lot to look forward to and kind of keep my head down and grind.

"Couldn't ask for a better start."

He's not the only one. Here are a few notables that are in the Olympics based on the post-Phoenix Open OWGR.

United States

  • Scottie Scheffler (No. 1)
  • Xander Scheuffele (No. 5)
  • Wyndham Clark (No. 6)
  • Patrick Cantlay (No. 7)

Max Homa, Brian Harman, Jordan Spieth and Collin Morikawa are all barely on the outside looking in right now. That can and almost certainly will change between now and the actual tournament in August, but that's not necessarily the foursome I would have named off the top of my head for the U.S. side. In 2021, the U.S. was represented by Schauffele, Morikawa, Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed.


  • Jon Rahm (No. 3)
  • Pablo Larrazabal (No. 104)

This will be the first Olympics since LIV Golf started. LIV players do not receive OWGR points, but even though Rahm is falling in the OWGR, his current ranking (No. 3) is so far ahead of the No. 2 Spanish player (Larrazabal at No. 140) that it will be nearly impossible for him to be caught.

Great Britain

  • Matt Fitzpatrick (No. 9)
  • Tommy Fleetwood (No. 13)

Tyrrell Hatton is also in the mix, but he's part of LIV and will be affected by the OWGR points. It would be surprising if Fitzpatrick and Fleetwood were not the representatives for Great Britain.


  • Jason Day (No. 19)
  • Cameron Smith (No. 39)

Here's another scenario that will be affected by LIV. Cameron Smith is currently in at No. 39, but Min Woo Lee (No. 41) and Adam Scott (No. 48) as well as Cameron Davis (No. 50) are all within 12 spots of him. Smith could feasibly earn enough OWGR points at the majors to keep one of the top two spots for Australia, but he'll have to clean up at those four events because he won't be getting OWGR points elsewhere.

Others who are currently qualified include Rory McIlroy (Ireland), Viktor Hovland (Norway), Ludvig Aberg (Sweden), Tom Kim (South Korea), Sepp Straka (Austria), Matthieu Pavon (France), Sungjae Im (South Korea), Nicolai Hojgaard (Denmark), Ryan Fox (New Zealand), Emiliano Grillo (Argentina) and Adrian Meronk (Poland).

Ultimately, this is an interesting side story to follow throughout the year. After a bumpy start at Rio in 2016 when the Zika virus caused several golfers to withdraw, golf at the Olympics is gaining popularity. It's easy to envision this year's edition at Le Golf National (home of the 2018 Ryder Cup) as the most prominent edition to date (especially in the United States, where the viewing times will be more reasonable). It seems as if it's a goal most pros care a bit more about than they did eight years ago when it barely seemed like an objective for professional golfers at all.