The die has been cast, America. The Aussies are expecting to win at least two of the six medals available when golf makes its return to the Olympics in 2016.
The Australian Olympic Committee released its 2013 Benchmark report this week, which is essentially a projection of how the Aussies will do in the Rio de Janeiro games in three years. In that report, the AOCt anticipates winning a gold and bronze medal in golf in Rio de Janeiro.
The Olympic golf format currently is a 72-hole, stroke-play format for men and women. Each field is comprised of 60 players drawn from the respective ranking systems for each gender. As currently constructed, the top 15 players in the world rankings as of the cutoff date to qualify are exempt into the tournament, regardless of nation. A nation can have no more than two players qualify for the tournament, that is, currently, unless a nation has more than two players inside the top 15. A proposal is on the table to limit a nation to four players, regardless of the number of players a country has in the top 15.
Aussie success in golf isn’t all that far-fetched. After all, the reigning Masters champion, Adam Scott, is third in the Official World Golf Ranking. Countryman Jason Day, who won the individual portion of the World Cup at Royal Melbourne in November, is now 11th in the world.
On the women’s side, Karrie Webb is eighth in the Rolex Rankings. The next-highest ranked Aussie, however, is Katherine Hull-Kirk at No. 104.
The report also suggests the United States is projected to win the medal count in 2016, expected to fetch 92 medals in Brazil.