Justin Rose eyes World Top 15 spot in quest for Tokyo Olympics qualification

Representing Great Britain at the Tokyo Olympics is one of Justin Rose's main goals, but he must climb the world rankings in order to defend his Gold Medal.

Jack Seddon's picture
Wed, 27 Jan 2021

Justin Rose eyes World Top 15 spot in quest for Tokyo Olympics qualification

Justin Rose has made qualifying to represent Team Great Britain at the Tokyo Olympic Games one of his main goals for the year, but knows he has plenty of work to do in the world rankings if he is to have a hope of defending the Gold Medal he won in 2016.

According to Rose, beating Henrik Stenson in Rio to win a Gold Medal is the greatest achievement of his career to date, but after falling to 38th in the world rankings, the Englishman has his work cut out if he is to represent Team GB again this year.

The Tokyo Olympics was scheduled to be held last year, but due to the coronavirus pandemic was pushed back to 2021, although there is still uncertainty as to whether the Games will be able to go ahead, with coronavirus cases in Japan continuing to rise.

"It's not a concern if you are not in the team," Rose said ahead of this week's Omega Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour. "For the sake of golf, even if I'm not there, I'd love it to go ahead. It was a great spectacle last time and I think, biased of course, golf came out pretty well.

"Japan being an established golfing nation, I think hosting the golf would be fantastic. I have heard conflicting reports on how things are over in Japan and how they are preparing for it. I have got bigger problems than that.

"I've got to focus on my own position, clearly the English lads are playing really well. There's going to be quite a few guys to get past, but my goal would be to be in the Top 15 in the World. That should be a pretty strong position to make the team.

"Four years is a long time between events. You have to earn your way back. That's front and centre for me. Saying that, I've always learned in the past you can't chase it.

"My good golf has come through a process, a belief in what I'm doing and a plan and focussing on the little things and doing them really well. I can't force my way back into the top 15 in the world, I can only play good golf week to week and that's the objective."

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If the Games are to go ahead, 60 players will take to the field in Tokyo, with a maximum of four players from each country able to compete, providing they are in the world's top 15, with two golfers from Great Britain currently eligible as things stand.

Tyrrell Hatton, who climbed to a career-high world No.5 after winning the Abu Dhabi Championship, is the leading British player in the world rankings and said that should he qualify for the Games, he would love to represent Team GB.

"If I have got the opportunity to play in the Olympics I would definitely go," Hatton said. "It would be, I imagine, a fantastic experience and not one you are ever guaranteed to be able to do again. Hopefully I can give myself the opportunity to be on the team.

"I wouldn't say I'm uncomfortable with the [world ranking] position I'm in, I just don't see myself as anything different. It's not something that I really worry about.

"I am just trying to play good golf and the world rankings take care of themselves if you are able to do that. Fortunately for me, the last 14 months, I have been on a really good run and I am hoping that continues."

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