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DeLaet, Hearn in line for 2016 Olympic berths under golf’s qualification criteria

If the world ranking looks just like this in two years, Adam Scott would be headed to Rio for the Olympics as the No. 1 player in the world and so would Roope Kakko of Finland at No. 287.

The ranking is certain to change next week, let alone two years from now.

But starting this week, the International Golf Federation will be publishing a weekly "Olympic ranking" to show movement as players try to make the team. The 60-player field for men and women will be based entirely on the world ranking, with the cutoff on July 11, 2016.

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That depends, of course, on whether an eligible player agrees to participate.

Players from the top 15 are guaranteed a spot in the Rio games, provided there are no more than four players from each country. For the Americans, those four would include Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth, while excluding the likes of Jim Furyk at No. 11 in the world.

After the top 15, the field will be filled with no more than two players from each country. One player from the host country (Brazil) is promised a spot, and players representing countries in the five continental units recognized by the International Olympic Committee must be there.

Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask. at No. 36 and David Hearn of Brantford, Ont. at No. 100 would represent Canada under the criteria outlined Monday.

The 2016 Olympics are schedule for Aug. 5-21 in Rio. It will mark the return of golf for the first time since 2004.

Of greater concern is the golf course for the Olympics.

After what seems like endless delays, IGF vice-president Ty Votaw said sodding has begun, with a plan to use grass springs and sodding for the remaining holes.

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"Our plan is to have all of the grassing completed by late October, early November of this year," Votaw said.

If the schedule is met – Votaw put the onus on the landowner-developer dedicating all resources necessary – he said that would give architect Gil Hanse and his team two full growing seasons for the grass to present what Votaw called "optimum conditions" for the Olympic competition.

Votaw said there would be a test event ahead of the Olympics, though he declined to say what it would be or when.

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