PICTURE multiple major winners led by Jordan Spieth gunning for birdies and a gold medal on the same course as Miguel Tabuena.
If the Rio Games tournament teed off now, the world No. 1 Spieth and Philippine No. 1 Tabuena would be walking the same fairways on the controversial Reserva de Marapendi, competing for the first Olympic golf medals to be staked in 112 years.
Tabuena has risen to 210th in the world rankings and 48th on the Olympic eligibility list after ruling the Asian Tour’s season-ending Philippine Open.
Asian Tour veteran Angelo Que is also still in the running at 50th.
The Filipino golfers, however, still need to play well in tournaments offering world ranking points because the cutoff is still a few months away on July 11.
The Olympic field is limited to 60 players, including the top-15 world-ranked players with a limit of four players from a given country.
Tony Lascuna got into the list in the middle of last year but struggled in the latter part of the season and has slipped to 379th in the world.
That list of qualifiers now has American players Spieth, No. 4 Bubba Watson, sixth-ranked Rickie Fowler and No. 8 Dustin Johnson.
Jennifer Rosales has also stayed in the list for the women’s tournament, although she has slipped to 58th from 57th last year.