After DQ, Nasa Hataoka loses grip on Japan’s final Olympic women’s golf qualifying spot

After being disqualified from last week’s ShopRite LPGA Classic, Nasa Hataoka has slipped from Japan’s final qualifying spot for the Olympic women’s golf event.

Ayaka Furue now holds Japan’s second of two currently available positions. Furue tied for second this past week to move to 19th in the latest Rolex Rankings. Hataoka dropped to 20th.

Hataoka opened in 65 at the ShopRite but was DQ’d ahead of Saturday’s second round when officials determined that she took too long to find a lost ball on Friday, and subsequently, played her next shot from the wrong spot.

Two players per country can qualify for the 60-person Olympic event (up to four if enough players from one country are inside the top 15 in the rankings).

The women’s Olympic qualifying system is based off the Rolex Rankings. U.S. Women’s Open champion Yuka Saso is the leading Japanese player, ranked eighth in the world.

There are two LPGA events remaining before qualifying concludes: this week’s Meijer LPGA Classic and next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (a major).

Furue is in the field for the Meijer; Hataoka is not. Both are slated for the KPMG at Sahalee.

Also strongly in the fray for Japan is Miyu Yamashita, who finished runner-up this past week in a Japan LPGA event, and moved up four spots to No. 21 in the world. She is scheduled to compete this week on the JLPGA and at the KPMG Women’s PGA.

The women’s Olympic competition is August 7-10 at Le Golf National in Paris, France.