Garcia looks forward to Olympics

Wed 25 May 2016

Garcia looks forward to Olympics

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May 25: Spaniard Sergio Garcia propelled to 11th place on the Olympic Golf Rankings after defeating Brooks Koepka of the United States on the first play-off hole at the AT&T Byron Nelson on Sunday.


The duo finished on 15-under-par 265 in regulation play before Garcia triumphed with a par against a double-bogey on the par-four 18th for his ninth PGA Tour title.
Garcia, who won the Asian Tour’s Ho Tram Open last December, is currently ranked three places ahead of his compatriot, Rafa Cabrera Bello, on the Road to Rio.
“I couldn’t be more proud of representing my country. The players who preceded me never had this opportunity and I wish to thank all those that made it possible. My father taught me that besides playing well and trying to win tournaments, I must try to leave a little something to make things better. When I retire, I hope to have given my small contribution to golf.
“I don’t know the feeling of actually being in the Games, but I am a big fan and I follow them on TV. I am looking forward to the experience of living at the Olympic Village. These might be my last games, so I want to live them fully. The opening ceremony and actually meeting the athletes that I admire on TV will be awesome,” said the 36-year-old Spaniard.
World number three Rory McIlroy claimed the tournament which bears his name when he won the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation by three shots from Scotland’s Russell Knox.
McIlroy delivered a dazzling finish of birdie-par-eagle to seal the deal at The K Club to retain his position behind Jason Day and Jordan Spieth on the Olympic Rankings.
Another leading Olympic hopeful, Martin Kaymer of Germany, showed a welcome return to top form by closing with a best-of-the-day 65 to tie fellow compatriot, Max Kieffer, for fifth place in Ireland to climb four spots from 298th to 25th on the Road to Rio.
“I was trying to hold back the tears. It means a lot for my summer. It's nice to get that first win of the year. I kept telling myself, kept telling anyone that would listen, my game was close. It was just a matter of everything clicking. Maybe those last three holes (at the K Club) are the catalyst for another big summer,” said McIlroy.
“As it (Rio) gets closer, I am relishing the thought of going down there and competing for gold. If there was just a Northern Irish team, I'd love to play for a Northern Irish team. But it doesn't quite work like that. I've always played golf for Ireland.  We view golf in this island as the whole of Ireland and it's what I've always done. That's what I'm going to do down there... be proud to put on that green shirt and compete for a gold." McIlroy on BBC Sport.
One week after becoming the first Thai player to win on the LPGA Tour at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic, Ariya Jutanugarn followed up in style by completing back-to-back wins at the Kingsmill Championship Presented by JTBC in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Ariya has been the biggest mover in the women’s section of the Olympic Golf Rankings by climbing from 17th to 13th and now 11th on the back on those victories.
There were other significant moves on the Road to Rio after the latest LPGA Tour event, which saw Korea’s Sei Young Kim and the USA’s Gerina Piller tie for third.
As a result, Kim jumped from seventh to fourth while Piller’s recent rise in the Rolex Rankings has been rewarded with a place within the top 15 of the Olympic Rankings at No.12. She is now the third player from the United States to be in Rio contention along with Lexi Thompson and Stacy Lewis. Albane Valenzuela of Switzerland drops out of the top 60.
“(This was) a lot easier. I didn’t get nervous. I didn’t get excited until the last putt. I think right now we have a lot of players starting to play golf, a lot of juniors, and if I can inspire somebody, it’s really great, and I hope a lot of players come here on the LPGA, as well.” Ariya Jutanugarn after her second victory.
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