Why hasn't Tiger Woods competed at Olympics so far?

The 150th Open - Day Two Golfing
The 150th Open - Day Two Golfing

Tiger Woods is one of the most popular golfers, but he has never participated at the Olympics.

Interestingly, other athletes, like swimming legend Michael Phelps play golf in their free time. Golf has gotten so popular that Capital One is hosting events for non golfers to compete in, called 'The Match'. However, golf has never been a regular feature at the Olympics.

In the over 100-year history of the Olympics, golf has been played just four times. Some sports are mainstays, like sprinting, long jump and swimming, while others cycle in and out, which includes golf.


So, let's have a look why one of the best golfers of all time - Tiger Woods - has never competed in the Olympics.

Tiger Woods and the Olympics

The short answer is that there haven't been many opportunities for Woods to do so, as only four Olympics - 1900, 1904, 2016 and 2020 - have had golf.

Woods has been playing golf professionally since 1996 and is still going strong. For most of the years between 1996 and 2016, Woods was one of the premier golfers, racking in titles and accolades. Unfortunately, the Olympics didn't have golf till 2016.

Tiger Woods could have qualified for the Olympic golf competition in 2016. That's a fair assumption, but a back injury (one in a long list of career altering injuries he has had) sidelined him for the competition in Rio de Janeiro.


In 2020, it was no secret that the Olympics desperately wanted Woods to compete. He wanted to compete, too, as he knew he might not have many more opportunities to do so.

“And especially at the age I’ll be, I don’t know if I have many more chances," said Woods at the time.

However, only the top four Americans inside the world's top 15 could qualify, and Woods was not one of them.

For a while, the top four were Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Cantlay. Woods was just behind them. Eventually, the following golfers made the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo last year:

  • Xander Schaufelle (Gold medal winner)
  • Colin Morikawa (tied for fourth)
  • Patrick Reed (tied for 22nd)
  • Justin Thomas (tied for 22nd).

It's very likely Woods would've made it in 2016 if it weren't for his health, while in 2020, he didn't qualify. In 2024, he'll be 48 and unlikely to be competitive because of his health, which would be unfortunate for Woods, the Olympics and golf fans.

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Edited by Bhargav
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