Tokyo 2020: Justin Rose unsure on whether he will qualify for Olympics
Justin Rose currently 38th in world rankings and outside the qualification standings for the Tokyo Games; Rose won gold in Rio in 2016 when the sport returned to the Olympics for the first time in 112 years
By Sky Sports Golf
Last Updated: 27/01/21 4:56pm
Justin Rose has admitted he has plenty of work to do over the coming months if he is to have any chance of defending his Olympic title at the Tokyo Games this summer.
The former world No 1 won gold ahead of Henrik Stenson in Rio in 2016 but currently sits outside the qualification places for this year's contest, with the Englishman down to 38th in the latest world rankings and without a victory since January 2019.
Uncertainty still remains as to whether the Games will be able to take place due to rising Covid-19 cases, with the Japanese Government denying reports last week the event would be cancelled, while Rose has set his sights on moving up the world rankings to try and represent Team GB once again.
"It's not a concern if you are not in the team," Rose said ahead of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. "For the sake of golf, even if I'm not there, I'd love it to go ahead. It was a great spectacle last time and I think, biased of course, golf came out pretty well.
"Japan being an established golfing nation, I think hosting the golf would be fantastic. I have heard conflicting reports on how things are over in Japan and how they are preparing for it. I have got bigger problems than that.
"I've got to focus on my own position, clearly the English lads are playing really well. There's going to be quite a few guys to get past, but my goal would be to be in the Top 15 in the World. That should be a pretty strong position to make the team.
"Four years is a long time between events. You have to earn your way back. That's front and centre for me. Saying that, I've always learned in the past you can't chase it.
"My good golf has come through a process, a belief in what I'm doing and a plan and focussing on the little things and doing them really well. I can't force my way back into the top 15 in the world, I can only play good golf week to week and that's the objective."
A maximum of four players from each country can compete in the 60-strong field in Tokyo, providing they are in the world's top 15, while two golfers from Great Britain would be eligible as things stand.
Tyrrell Hatton is the leading British player in the world rankings and is at a career-high fifth place after his victory at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, with the four-time Rolex Series winner relishing the opportunity to potentially make his Olympic debut.
"If I have got the opportunity to play in the Olympics I would definitely go," Hatton said. "It would be, I imagine, a fantastic experience and not one you are ever guaranteed to be able to do again. Hopefully I can give myself the opportunity to be on the team.
"I wouldn't say I'm uncomfortable with the [world ranking] position I'm in, I just don't see myself as anything different. It's not something that I really worry about.
"I am just trying to play good golf and the world rankings take care of themselves if you are able to do that. Fortunately for me, the last 14 months, I have been on a really good run and I am hoping that continues."
Rose and Hatton are both in action on the European Tour this week at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Thursday from 4am on Sky Sports Golf.
Hatton was also a special guest on this week's Sky Sports Golf podcast, where he reflected on his latest victory in Abu Dhabi and much more. Paul McGinley, Gary Murphy and Zane Scotland were among the other guests.