Olympic Movers and Shakers – Week Ending March 27
A Perfect Day for Jason
Jason Day climbed to the head of the Olympic Rankings on the strength of a another towering week of world class golf. The Australian supplanted long-time leader Jordan Spieth as No.1 after defeating Louis Oosthuizen in the final of the WGC-Dell Match Play in Austin, Texas.
Day, now also the world No.1, was not the only beneficiary in the quest for Olympic qualification. Oosthuizen moved into the top ten at No.10, demoting England’s Danny Willett to 11th and Oosthuizen’s fellow countryman, Brendan Grace, to 12th. Korea’s Byeong-Hun An is now 15th from 16th.
However, the man who made most ground was dashing Spaniard Rafa Cabrera-Bello, whose victory over Rory McIlroy in Austin earned him third place in the Match Play and a jump of nine places on the Road to Rio from 27th to 18th.
A Mexican wave from Rodolfo
Rodolfo Cazaubon, the 26 year old from Mexico, is a new entry on the Olympic Rankings after finishing in a tie for third place alongside English Ryder Cup player, Ian Poulter, in the Puerto Rico Open at Coco Beach Golf and Country Club.
Cazaubon, who competes on the Web.com Tour, came up just one shot away from joining the play-off which saw Tony Finau beat his fellow American Steve Marino at the second extra hole.
The reward, for Cazaubon was to bring his Olympic dream closer to reality by joining the elite list for Rio de Janeiro in 54th place, with Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh dropping out of the top 60.
“It's not so much the No. 1 rank that really gets me excited. It's more so the journey and the process that it's taken. To get to the top of your sport takes a long time and so for me it's that delayed gratification. To be No. 1 in the world is fantastic.”....Jason Day.
Lydia Ko provided another example of how she can light up Rio by winning the 11th LPGA Tour title of her fledgling career at Carlsbad, California.
The New Zealand teenager displayed the full range of her skills ahead of the first major championship of the year by winning the Kia Classic. Ko’s opening score of 68 turned out to be her worst round of the week as she strung together three successive 67s to beat Korea’s Inbee Park by four strokes.
It’s a case of ‘as you were’ at the top of the Olympic Rankings with Ko occupying the No.1 position and Park tucked in behind in second place.
Korea currently have four eligible players within the top 15 in the Olympic Rankings with the United States on three.
“I think there's always something I can get better at. My trainer, says: ‘Better every day’. We are just trying to get a little better every single day. That's kind of my goal and the quote that motivates me”...Lydia Ko.
About the International Golf Federation:
The IGF was founded in 1958 to encourage the international development of the game and to employ golf as a vehicle to foster friendship and sportsmanship. Recognised by the International Olympic Committee as the official international federation for golf, the IGF is comprised of 146 Federations from 141 countries. The IGF serves as the International Olympic Committee’s recognized International Federation for golf.