Meet The Women Of USA GOLF

It’s official. Lexi Thompson, Stacy Lewis, and Gerina Piller will represent USA GOLF in the women’s Olympic Golf competition, a 72-hole stroke play tournament contested among 60 women at The Olympic Golf Course in Rio, August 17-20.

The two-year qualification period for a spot in the Games ended this past Monday, July 11, when the Olympic Golf Rankings were finalized. Each country’s National Olympic Committee now has until July 18th to confirm its roster, but Thompson, Lewis, and Piller all took to social media this past week to announce their intentions to represent the USA at the 2016 Games.

Thompson’s and Lewis’s Olympic spots were secure regardless of how they played at last week’s U.S. Women’s Open at CordeValle, but for Piller, the Open was her last chance to make the team. Ranked 16th in the world heading into the U.S. Women’s Open, Piller needed a top-17 finish or better to move to 15th in the world rankings and secure a spot on USA GOLF’s roster.

Why did moving up one position in the world rankings make a difference? Because each country is only allowed a maximum of four players in the top-15 and only two beyond the top-15. Piller excelled under pressure and finished in a tie for eighth. Cue the huge sigh of relief, and don the red, white, and blue.

This Olympic trio knows what it means to represent their country on the international stage. All three women were members of the victorious 2015 Solheim Cup Team, a biennial match play golf competition contested between the best players from the United States and Europe. They’re also competing next week at the UL International Crown competition in Illinois, where four players from eight countries go head-to-head in match play competitions. Watch out, Rio. This trio is coming for you.

STAY TUNED: Over the next few days we’ll introduce you to Lexi, Stacy, and Gerina in a special “Olympic Q&A” series. Piller all took to social media this past week to announce their intentions to represent the USA at the 2016 Games.

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USA GOLF Names Seven Athletes To 2016 United States Olympic Team

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL – (July 11, 2016) With the qualification process closed as of July 11, USA GOLF named seven athletes to represent the United States at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Golf makes its return to the Olympic Games for the first time since 1904, with fields of 60 players for both men and women in a 72-hole stroke-play format.

“We are extremely excited about the golf competition, and we are fortunate to have seven world class players representing the United States of America at the Olympic Games,” said USOC Chief Executive Officer Scott Blackmun. “I know they will make us proud. They already have.”

The men’s team will send the maximum four allowed, all ranked among the top 15 in the Official World Golf Ranking, to compete August 11-14 at the Olympic Course in Reserva de Marapendi in Barra da Tijuca. The women’s team will consist of three players, also ranked among the top 15, and will compete August 17-20.

The U.S. team will be the largest of any country in the Olympic golf competition, with the seven members giving the United States an excellent chance at earning a medal,” said USA GOLF Executive Director Andy Levinson. “USA GOLF is honored to have these players and caddies on the team and we feel strongly the Olympics will be a special experience for them.”

USA GOLF Names Seven Athletes

All nominations to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team are pending approval by the United States Olympic Committee. Bubba Watson, 37, is a nine-time PGA TOUR winner, most notably the Masters Tournament in 2012 and 2014. The Pensacola, Florida, resident’s latest title came in February at the Northern Trust Open. Watson has played for the United States on three Ryder Cup teams (2010, 2012, 2014) and two Presidents Cup teams (2011, 2015). Watson is a 2008 graduate of the University of Georgia.

Rickie Fowler, 27, a California native who lives in Jupiter, Florida, is a three-time PGA TOUR winner, including THE PLAYERS Championship in 2015. He has four worldwide victories over the last 14 months, most recently the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January. Fowler has also represented the United States in professional team competition on three occasions at the Presidents Cup (2015) and the Ryder Cup (2010, 2014). Fowler played collegiately at Oklahoma State University and was the recipient of the 2008 Ben Hogan Award as the nation’s top collegiate golfer.

Patrick Reed, who turns 26 on August 5, has four PGA TOUR victories, most recently the 2015 Hyundai Tournament of Champions. He has also represented the United States in professional team competition on two occasions: at the Presidents Cup (2015) and the Ryder Cup (2014). The Spring, Texas, native was a member of two NCAA National Championship teams while at Augusta University.

Matt Kuchar, 38, of Sea Island, Georgia, is a seven-time PGA TOUR winner, including THE PLAYERS Championship in 2012. His most recent title came at the 2014 RBC Heritage. Among the most consistent players on the PGA TOUR, Kuchar has qualified for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola six straight seasons, dating back to 2010, and has five wins and 63 top-10 finishes during that stretch. He has represented the United States in professional team competition on six occasions: at the Presidents Cup (2011, 2013, 2015) and the Ryder Cup (2010, 2012, 2014). Kuchar was a two-time first-team All-America at Georgia Tech and won the 1997 U.S. Amateur title.

Lexi Thompson, 21, of Coral Springs, Florida, will be the youngest member representing Team USA in Rio. The fourth-ranked golfer in the Women’s Olympic Golf Rankings has seven LPGA titles, including a major championship at the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship. Her victory at the 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic made her the youngest winner in LPGA Tour history at 16 years, 7 months and 8 days. Thompson’s most recent title came in February at the Honda LPGA Thailand. She has represented the United States in professional team competition on two occasions at the Solheim Cup (2013, 2015).

Former World No. 1 Stacy Lewis, 31, has 11 LPGA titles, including the 2011 Kraft Nabisco Championship and 2013 RICOH Women’s British Open. She was voted the LPGA Player of the Year in both 2012 and 2014 after seasons with four and three wins, respectively. Lewis is a three-time Solheim Cup Team member (2011, 2013, 2015). She played collegiately at the University of Arkansas, where she was a four-time first-team All-American and won the NCAA Women’s Individual Championship as a junior in 2007. She has represented the United States in professional team competition at the Solheim Cup (2013, 2015).

Gerina Piller, 31, climbed into the top 15 in the Rolex Rankings on the final week of the qualification process with a tie for eighth at the U.S. Women’s Open. The Dallas, Texas, resident has eight top-10 finishes in 2016, including a runner-up finish at the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout in April. She has represented the United States in professional team competition at the Solheim Cup (2013, 2015). Piller played collegiately at the University of Texas-El Paso, where she was the 2007 Conference USA Individual champion. Gerina is married to PGA TOUR member Martin Piller.