SA’s JACO van Zyl has dropped out of the top 60 in the World Rankings, leaving the country with only Branden Grace left in the running for place in the nation’s Olympic golf team for the Rio Olympics in August.
Only the top 60 in the World Rankings at the July 11 cutoff date will be eligible to compete at the games, and countries may only field two players in their team. A country may field up to four players in their team if they have those players ranked in the top 15, but that does not apply to SA.
Grace is SA’s top-ranked player at number 11 in the world, and with Louis Oosthuizen (13) and Charl Schwartzel (21) making themselves unavailable, Van Zyl is next in line. The 37-year-old dropped two spots to 62nd when the latest World Rankings were released on Monday, meaning SA as it stands have only one player eligible for the quadrennial showpiece.
SA’s most successful golfer since Gary Player, Ernie Els, meanwhile, has not given up hope of making the South African team. The four-time Major winner has fallen to 229th in the world after finishing 2015 in 190th. With his game clearly heading in the wrong direction at the moment, Els remained defiant and insisted a win could be around the corner which could throw his name into the hat.
“I’ve got a little mountain to climb but the next month is very important for me to come from 216 in the world and try to get in the top 50,” said Els. – ANA