Mardan moves into Olympic frame

Sentosa, June 2: Singapore’s Mardan Mamat has moved into the Olympic Games frame thanks to his victory at the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open last weekend.

The 47-year-old Mardan has jumped into the top-60 of the men’s Olympic rankings after securing his fifth career Asian Tour title in Dhaka, joining nine other Asian Tour members in with a chance to play in Rio de Janeiro.

Mardan moved up to 52nd position on the Olympic rankings after rising from 345th to 223rd position in the world. The top-60 golfers from the Olympic rankings as of July 16, 2016, will qualify for Rio.

Based on the latest Official World Golf Ranking, Thai legend Thongchai Jaidee, fresh from two successive top-10s in Europe, will spearhead Asia’s challenge when golf is re-introduced in the Olympics following a lapse of over 100 years.

Thongchai JaideeThe three-time Asian Tour number one is currently ranked 16th on the men’s list, with India’s Anirban Lahiri, the current Asian Tour number one, three rungs below in 20th spot.

Other Asian Tour members in the top-60 frame include Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand (30th), India’s S.S.P. Chawrasia (46th), Filipino veteran Antonio Lascuna (51st), Asian Tour honorary member Vijay Singh of Fiji (53rd), Chinese Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang (54th), Filipino Angelo Que (57th) and Brazil’s Adilson da Silva (59th).

The other Asians who are on track to qualify for the Olympics include Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and Koumei Oda, who represented Asia in the inaugural EurAsia Cup last year, Korea’s Sangmoon Bae and Byeonghun An and China’s Li Hao-tong and Wu Ashun.

Bae, now playing on the PGA Tour, is a multiple winner on the Asian Tour.

Malaysia’s Arie Irawan has slipped out of the top-60 list.

In total, eight Asian countries – Japan, Singapore, Thailand, India, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Philippines and China – would be represented in Rio if the qualifying cut off was made this week.

The International Golf Federation proposed to the IOC of a 72-hole individual stroke play competition for both men and women reflecting leading players’ opinion of the fairest and best way to identify an Olympic champion. In the event of a tie for either first, second or third place, a three-hole playoff will determine the medal winner(s).

Malaysia’s Arie Irawan has slipped out of the top-60 listThe IOC has restricted the IGF to an Olympic field of 60 players for each of the men’s and women’s competition. The IGF will utilise the official world golf rankings to create the Olympic golf rankings as a method of determining eligibility.

The top-15 world-ranked players will be eligible for the Olympics, with a limit of four players from a given country. Beyond 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.

The qualifying cut off for the Olympics is July 16, 2016.

For more details on the qualification system for the 2016 Olympic Game, please go to www.igfgolf.org