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Scottie Scheffler of the US hits a tee shot on the fifth hole during the third round of the 124th US Open at Pinehurst Resort on June 15. Image Credit: AFP

Paris: World No 1 Scottie Scheffler will lead a heavyweight US presence at the men’s 2024 Olympics golf in a quartet featuring defending champion Xander Schauffele and two-time major winner Collin Morikawa, who squeezed through the qualifying race.

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The United States was the only country to clinch the maximum possible four spots in the 60-strong list unveiled on Tuesday by the International Golf Federation for the men’s contest on August 1-4 at Le Golf National, the venue south of Paris that hosted the Ryder Cup in 2018.

Top-two position

The US contingent also includes Wyndham Clark, last year’s US Open champion, but not Patrick Cantlay, whose tied-third finish on Sunday at this year’s US Open was just short of the top-two position he needed to pip Morikawa in the world rankings used to establish the Olympics list.

The newly crowned 2024 US Open winner, Bryson DeChambeau, missed out on the US team too. That illustrates how the advent of the Saudi-backed LIV tour, on which DeChambeau plays but that yields no ranking points, influenced the race for Paris.

World No 2 Rory McIlroy leads the pack of non-US contenders for Olympic glory, though the games were not on his mind on Monday as the Northern Irishman announced he was taking a few weeks off to digest his late collapse at the US Open that prolonged his decade-long wait for a fifth major.

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Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy was close to a medal in Tokyo but lost in a seven-way playoff. Image Credit: AFP

McIlroy, who represents Ireland, was close to a medal in Tokyo but came up short in a seven-way playoff for third place in which Morikawa also lost out.

Home fans disappointed

Tokyo bronze medallist C.T. Pan of Taiwan will be back along with defending champion Schauffele. The 2021 runner-up, South African-born Rory Sabbatini, who competed for Slovakia in Tokyo, will not be in Paris.

Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, the top-ranked Asian player, will have another shot at an Olympic podium after leaving home fans disappointed in Tokyo when he ended tied-fourth.

France’s hopes of a medal on home soil have been boosted by a breakthrough year for Matthieu Pavon, whose fifth place at the US Open lifted him to a career-high 20th in the world rankings.

Pavon will represent France alongside Victor Perez.

The qualification list for the women’s golf event in Paris, which takes place on August 7-10, will be published next Tuesday.

Finalised lists of participants for both the men’s and women’s competitions will be released on July 2.