Date: July 07, 2016
Author: Martin Blake

Webb’s Olympic dream down to US Open

It is time for Karrie Webb's final bid at the Olympic Games berth she has craved for so long… and Webb needs to produce a stellar performance to do it.

After the women's Rolex Rankings were released this week the veteran Australian was at No. 59, one place higher from the week before.

But the young woman whose spot she is chasing, Victoria's Su Oh, is now 20 spots ahead of her at No. 39, having jumped three places despite not playing in the LPGA Tour event in Portland.

Webb was tied-41st behind the brilliant young Canadian Brooke Henderson in Portland, missing a chance to push her case.

Now she needs to find 20 spots in one event, the Women's US Open at Cordevalle in California starting tonight.

Given that the 20-year-old Oh has qualified for the tournament, it may well mean that Webb needs to win or at least contend in California to make up the ground, a job made even more difficult by the ranking points that she is defending after her T14 at the event in last year.

Webb's form in 2016 has been moderate by her standards, with only one top-10 finish in 13 events, leaving her 47th on the money list.

Oh's former junior national teammate Minjee Lee, 20, from Perth, is already locked into the women's Olympic team with a world ranking of 13.

The Olympic tournament will include 60 players taken from the world rankings as of next Monday, however there are complications. For instance, a country can have up to four players in the field so long as they are ranked in the top 15. Other countries are limited to two players.

The same applies for the men's Olympic tournament, where Scott Hend (ranked 75th), Matt Jones (81) and Marcus Fraser (82) are in the frame, with Hend to play the Scottish Open on the European Tour starting tonight. Jones and Fraser, not playing this weekend, are in the lap of the world ranking algorithm gods.

The next-highest ranked player is John Senden (107). Hend and Fraser have both expressed a strong desire to play in Rio de Janeiro, where golf makes its return to the Olympics after a gap of more than 100 years. 

The Australian team for Rio will be annouced next week.