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Golf: Olympics finally return with 3 medals at stake for men

July 27, 2021 GMT

INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE

TOKYO OLYMPICS

Site: Kawagoe, Japan.

Course: Kasumigaseki CC. Yardage: 7,447. Par: 71.

Prize: Gold, silver and bronze medals.

Television (all times EDT): Wednesday-Saturday, 6:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Justin Rose.

Notes: None of the medal winners from Rio de Janeiro qualified for the Tokyo Olympics competition at Kasumigaseki. ... The last two U.S. Open champions, Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau, tested positive for the coronavirus and had to withdraw. That leaves three of the top 10 in the world in the field — Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele and Justin Thomas. ... A medal comes with a massive perk for Sungjae Im and Si Woo Kim of South Korea. It is all that can exempt them from mandatory military service. ... Hideki Matsuyama of Japan has the home advantage, even without fans. He won the Asia-Pacific Amateur at Kasumigaseki. Matsuyama is one of Japan’s highest hopes for the Olympics after his victory in the Masters in April. ... The leading four players in the world skipped the 2016 Olympics when golf returned after a century-long absence. This time, Dustin Johnson was the only player from the top four who opted not to play. ... Fifteen of the 44 countries in Europe have players in the Olympics. Latin America has six countries represented, same as last time in Rio. ... The gold medalist earns a spot in the majors next year and The Players Championship but not the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua.

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Next time: Paris in 2024.

Online: https://www.igfgolf.org/

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EUROPEAN TOUR

ISPS HANDA WORLD INVITATIONAL

Site: Ballymena, Northern Ireland.

Course: Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort. Galgorm Castle GC (Yardage: 7,005. Par: 70) and Massereene GC (Yardage: 6,827. Par: 70).

Prize money: $1.5 million. Winner’s share: $250,000.

Television: Thursday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: New event.

Race to Dubai leader: Collin Morikawa.

Last week: Nacho Elvira won the Cazoo Open in Wales.

Notes: The tournament is tri-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA Tour. Men and women will be playing the same golf courses in separate events with equal prize money. Points will apply to all tours. ... Neither field is particularly strong because it falls the same week as the Olympics. ... Among those playing are European Tour winners from this year that include Marcus Armitage, Nacho Elvira, Justin Harding, John Catlin and Jonathan Caldwell. ... The 36-hole cut will be for the top 60 and ties, and a 54-hole cut will be for the top 35 and ties. ... The European Tour is in the midst of playing seven consecutive events in Britain and Ireland.

Next week: WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

Online: https://www.europeantour.com/european-tour/

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LPGA TOUR AND LADIES EUROPEAN TOUR

ISPS HANDA WORLD INVITATIONAL

Site: Ballymena, Northern Ireland.

Course: Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort. Galgorm Castle GC (Yardage: 6,453. Par: 70) and Massereene GC (Yardage: 6,827. Par: 70).

Prize money: $1.5 million. Winner’s share: $250,000.

Television: Thursday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: New event.

Race to CME Globe leader: Nelly Korda.

Last week: Minjee Lee won the Evian Championship.

Notes: Lee’s victory in the Evian Championship made her the 12th different winner in the last 12 LPGA majors. ... The tournament is tri-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour and the European Tour. Men and women will be playing the same golf courses in separate events with equal prize money. Points will apply to all tours. ... The women have at least a semblance of a decent field, with five of the top 50 in the world. That includes former U.S. Women’s Open champion Jeongeun Lee6, Jennifer Kupcho and two British players who turned down their spots in the Olympics, Georgia Hall and Charley Hull. ... The 36-hole cut will be for the top 60 and ties, and a 54-hole cut will be for the top 35 and ties. After the Olympics next week in Japan, the LPGA returns to Europe for the Ladies Scottish Open and then the final major of the year at the Women’s British Open.

Next week: Olympics.

Online: https://www.lpga.com/ and https://ladieseuropeantour.com/

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PGA TOUR

Last week: Cameron Champ won the 3M Open.

Next week: WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and Barracuda Championship.

FedEx Cup leader: Collin Morikawa.

Online: https://www.pgatour.com/

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PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

Last week: Stephen Dodd won the Senior British Open.

Next tournament: Shaw Charity Classic on Aug. 13-15.

Charles Schwab Cup leader: Jerry Kelly.

Online: https://www.pgatour.com/champions.html

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KORN FERRY TOUR

Last week: Dylan Wu won the Price Cutter Charity Championship.

Next tournament: Utah Championship on Aug. 5-8.

Points leader: Stephan Jaeger.

Online: https://www.pgatour.com/korn-ferry-tour.html

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OTHER TOURS

USGA: U.S. Senior Women’s Open, Brooklawn CC, Fairfield, Connecticut. Defending champion: Helen Alfredsson. Online: https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page.html

PGA of America: Girls Junior PGA Championship, Valhalla GC, Louisville, Kentucky. Previous winner: Yuka Saso (2019). Online: https://www.pga.com/

Japan LPGA: Rakuten Super Ladies, Tokyu Grand Oak GC, Hyogo, Japan. Defending champion: New event. Online: https://www.lpga.or.jp/en

Korean LPGA: Jeju Samdasoo Masters, Wooridul GC, Jeju, South Korea. Defending champion: Hae Ran Ryu. Online: https://www.klpga.co.kr/

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More AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf