17 Jun 2024 | Professional golf |

Jason Day, Min Woo Lee qualify for Paris Olympics

by Tony Webeck

Jason Day Min Woo Lee Olympics
Jason Day and Min Woo Lee have qualified to represent Australia at the Paris 2024 Olympics. Photos: Michael Reaves/Getty Images (Day), Ben Jared/PGA TOUR/Getty Images (Lee)

Jason Day and Min Woo Lee are poised to make their Olympic debuts after finishing as the leading two Australians at the end of the men’s golf competition qualification period.

Following criteria set for all teams by the International Golf Federation, the Australian Golf team to represent their country at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will be formally announced on June 29. The women’s qualification period closes at the completion of this week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

An absorbing US Open won by Bryson DeChambeau signalled the end to the three-year qualification period for this Olympic cycle for the men’s game. Day and Lee both qualified for the Australian team by virtue of being among the top 59 players eligible for selection on the Official World Golf Ranking.

Day, who was eligible for the 2016 Olympics at Rio de Janeiro but declined for family reasons, is ranked No.24 in the world despite missing the cut at Pinehurst.

It would have required something extraordinary for Lee to be unseated, a tie for 21st solidifying his spot at No.36 in the rankings and a likely Olympic debut.

Day had not publicly declared his Olympic intentions until after The Masters Tournament in April, declaring that if he qualified he would tee it up at Le Golf National.

“I’m looking forward to it. I think I made a bit of a mistake not going down to Rio, even though part of it was family related,” Day said.

“I kind of missed out on that, and I probably should have gone. But if I get the opportunity, I’m looking forward to going.”

Lee has never shied away from his Olympic ambition.

His older sister, Minjee, is on the verge of selection in her third straight Olympics, Min Woo’s qualification paving the way for the pair to join a rich history of siblings to have represented Australia at the Olympic Games.

“I would love to represent Australia. It’s one of the goals I’ve had from the last year or so when the talk started happening,” said Lee, who has confirmed his defence of his Australian PGA Championship defence at Royal Queensland in November.

Marcus Fraser and Scott Hend were Australia’s men’s representatives when golf made its Olympic return in 2016 while Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman competed at Tokyo 2020.

Fraser’s tie for fifth in 2016 is Australia’s best result in the men’s golf competition, Hannah Green’s narrowly missing out on a medal at Tokyo, her tie for fifth Australia’s best result in the women’s competition.

The men’s Olympic golf competition will be staged August 1-4 with the women’s competition to take place from August 7-10.

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