Updated April 24th, 2024 at 13:11 IST

Indian golfers Aditi, Diksha set to participate in Paris Olympics

Indian golfers Aditi Ashok (46) and Diksha Dagar (138) are set to participate in the Paris Olympics whereas Shubhankar Sharma (197) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (232) also have a strong chance of making it to the Games.

Indian golfer Aditi Ashok | Image:PTI
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Indian golfers Aditi Ashok (46) and Diksha Dagar (138) are set to participate in the Paris Olympics whereas Shubhankar Sharma (197) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (232) also have a strong chance of making it to the Games.

While it will be a third appearance for Aditi at the Olympics which is also the most for an Indian, Diksha will be competing for the second time. For Sharma and Bhullar, it would be their maiden appearance at the Olympics.

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India’s best performance at the Olympics came from Aditi who finished fourth in the Tokyo Games 2020.

The Olympic entries are sent by the Indian Golf Union.

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Qualification for Olympics is determined by rankings, limited to 60 men’s and as many women’s players through the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR).

The top 15 players in the OWGR are eligible for the Olympics with a maximum limit of four golfers allowed from a single country.

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The Olympic Golf Rankings (OGR) after the top 15 players consists of up to two top eligible players per country, as long as it does not have at least two golfers in the top 15.

Meanwhile, Sahith Theegala and Akshay Bhatia, the two Indian-Americans making waves on the PGA Tour, have both reached career-high rankings this week.

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Theegala, who logged a second runner-up finish in 2024 and Bhatia, who won his second PGA Tour title and qualified for the Masters, are now ranked No 12 and No 33 respectively.

However, neither Theegala nor Bhatia have a possibility of making an Olympic appearance since the top 15 in the world rankings have as many as eight Americans.

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In 11 starts, Theegala has been a runner-up at the season-opener the Sentry and at the RBC Heritage and was fifth at WM Phoenix Open and tied-sixth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Bhatia, in his 12 starts, has won once at the Texas Open and been in top 20 as many as six times. He also missed cut four times.

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The top four Americans are Scottie Scheffler (1), Wyndham Clark (3), defending Olympic champion Xander Schauffele (5) and Patrick Cantlay (8). Two other Americans, Max Homa (9) and Brian Haran (10), are also ahead of Theegala, who is the seventh best American in the world rankings.

While only four players can be entered for the Olympic Games, provided they in world’s top 15, only US has four or more in the list.

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All other countries can send a maximum of two players provided both are in top 60 of the Olympic qualifiers.

Meanwhile, in the women’s section, Aditi, despite a modest 2024 so far, stays on in top 50.

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Diksha, who has been solid form, has been in top 10 thrice in five starts on the Ladies European Tour, and also been tied-26 or better in her two starts on the Epson Tour.

Diksha has also touched 138 in the women’s world rankings, her best so far.

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The next two Indian women are Pranavi Urs, playing her rookie season on LET, at 403 and amateur Avani Prashanth at 531.

Among Indian men, Sharma, the lone Indian in top 200, has a best finish of tied-seventh at the Singapore Classic and tied-16 at Dubai Desert Classic.

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Bhullar’s best in 2024 has been tied-43 in Oman on Asian Tour, but he also won once at Chandigarh Open on the Indian Tour, for his second win in four months in India.

The next best after Sharma and Bhullar are Veer Ahlawat at 380 and Karandeep Kochhar at 434. 

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Published April 24th, 2024 at 13:11 IST