Jeev Milkha Singh - The pandemic has hurt the Indian golfers’ Olympic chances

Jeev Milkha Singh feels that top-ranked Indian golfers like Rashid Khan, Shiv Kapur stand a chance of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.

By Samrat Chakraborty ·

Legendary Indian golfer Jeev Milkha Singh feels that top-ranked Indian golfers like Rashid Khan, Shiv Kapur, Karandeep Kochhar etc stand a chance of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics next year. 

However, he feels that their chances had been hurt by the pandemic which caused disruptions to the international golfing schedule. 

After the postponement of Tokyo Olympics to 2021, the International Golf Federation (IGF) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) made an update to the qualification system for the Games. In this system, athletes will accumulate Olympic Golf Rankings (OGR) points through a period ending on June 21, 2021, for the men and June 28, 2021, for the women.

The IGF will then create the Olympic Golf Rankings to determine eligibility as per the then world golf rankings.

Rashid Khan 

According to the official cut-off, the top-15 world-ranked players will automatically be eligible for the Olympics, with a limit of four players from a given country.

However, Indian golfers do have a chance as top-two players from a country will be eligible for qualification if they break into the top 200.

"We still got seven months to go, and I think at the moment in the World Rankings, there are almost 10 players. There are Shiv (Kapur), SSP Chaurasia, Anirban (Lahiri), Shubhankar Sharma, Rashid (Khan), so out of them it could be anybody depending on how they are playing tournaments," Jeev Milka Singh to The Times of India.

Jeev backs Indian golfers to make the cut with nearly seven months left for the cut-off dates.

“It (pandemic) has hurt everyone, it has hurt the Indian golfers for sure. But then I feel the wiser will go up. There will be tournaments starting hopefully from January in Asia, and of course in the PGTI, there will be tournaments. Hopefully these boys can play well and earn some world ranking points to come into the top-200 and make sure that they represent the country.”

Jeev also feels that the Indian golfers will have an advantage when it comes to the conditions in Tokyo which should suit players used to warm weather.

“As far as golf is concerned, it will be quite warm in Japan. Indians (golfers) are used to warm weather, it will be similar to the weather we experience during Indian monsoons. Talking about the course conditions, it will be excellent, with a lot of rough and the greens will be lightning fast.”