Ashleigh Buhai is set to represent South Africa in the Tokyo Olympic Games in the women’s golf competition which runs from August 4-7.
South Africa’s top-ranked player – she is ranked 76th in the world – qualified 33rd on the International Golf Federation list which was released on Tuesday. She will be one of two players in the 60-player field from the African continent. Maha Haddioui of Morocco, ranked 418 in the world, is the other.
The women’s rankings were finalised after Sunday’s completion of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, where 22-year-old American Nelly Korda captured her first major championship to move to number one in the world and top the Olympic rankings. Both the United States and South Korea lead the way with four qualified players, while none of the other 34 countries represented has more than two.
Lee-Anne Pace is the next highest ranked South African on the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings at 209th, and she will not be playing in the games. That means the next-best South African is the US-based Paula Reto at 420th, and she needs a number of withdrawals to occur before she would get the call-up.
Buhai will be joined by the two South African men in the golf competition, Garrick Higgo and Christiaan Bezuidenhout.