We profile the five leading Women’s golf gold medal favourites
Lydia Ko (New Zealand)
Best odds: 3-1
World Ranking: 1
This year’s Major finishes: T40 (Women’s British Open), T3 (Women’s US Open), 1 (ANA Inspiration), 2 (Women’s PGA Championship)
New Zealand have won just 42 gold medals in Olympic history so much excitement exist around the prospects of the Korean-born New Zealand teenager. She has been hoovering up the ‘youngest to’ records. She started playing golf aged 5 and this February, aged 17 years 9 months 8 days she became world ranked number one, the youngest women or man to do so. Last September, aged 17 years 9 months 8 days, she became the youngest woman to win a Major. Can Lydia Ko complete a hat-trick and become, at the Olympic Golf Course in Rio, the youngest women to win Olympic golfing gold? (The only previous women’s Olympics golf medal winner was 22 years old.).
Ariya Jutanugarn (Thailand)
Best odds: 6-1
World Ranking: 2
This year’s Major finishes: 1, T17, 54, 26.
The 20-year-old could also become the youngest to win women’s golfing gold. She has already made history by becoming the first Thai golfer of either sex to win a Major, when she won the Ricoh Women’s British Open this summer by three shots.
Lexi Thompson (USA)
Best odds: 12-1
World Ranking: 4
This year’s Major finishes: 58, 54, 46, 24.
Aged 12 Lexi Thompson qualified for her first Women’s US Open, in 2007, and aged 14, in her third outing, made the cut. She turned pro aged 15 and was the youngest to win a LPGA tournament, aged 16 years, seven months, and eight days. Her only Major win to date came in 2014 at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Stacy Lewis (USA)
Best odds: 14-1
World Ranking: 7
This year’s Major finishes: 70, 62, 51, 28.
Her two Majors came in 2011 and 2013. She failed to add a third in 2015 when she lost a play-off to Brittany Lincicome at the ANA Inspiration. She was world number one for four weeks in 2013 and 21 weeks in 2014. The US has already won bronze in the men’s Olympic golf, and can the American women add further medals to the tally?
In-gee Chun (South Korea)
Best odds: 14-1
World Ranking: 8
This year’s Major finishes: 49, 45, 36, 12.
The fifth in our list of the Women’s golf gold medal favourites, who will be cometing against Britain’s first hit a golf ball aged 11 and turned pro aged 17 and won the 2015 US Women’s Open.