Former Sooner Ancer to represent Mexico in Tokyo Olympics

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NORMAN – Former Oklahoma men’s golfer Abraham Ancer was selected to Team Mexico for the Tokyo Olympics, after closing the qualification period as the top-ranked Mexican golfer.

Ancer, a 2011 All-American who played at Oklahoma from 2010-13, has emerged as one of the top players in the world since earning his PGA Tour card in 2018. He currently sits 23rd in the World Golf Rankings, qualifying for a spot on Team Mexico in Tokyo. With the selection, he becomes the first OU men’s or women’s golfer to compete in the Olympic Games.

“I’m looking forward [to the Olympics] a lot. I know it’s still ways away from that, but it’s something that I always wanted to do,” Ancer told Golf.com earlier this year. “Any chance I can get to play for my country or as a team, I just enjoy it so much. I think it’s going to be another great experience.”

The Reynosa, Mexico, product was part of the final group at the 2020 Masters and finished tied for 13th at the major. He grabbed eighth place at the 2021 PGA Championship in May. He owns a pair of wins as a professional, taking home the title at the 2018 Emirates Australian Open and 2015 Nova Scotia Open. Ancer played for Team Mexico at the 2018 World Cup of Golf, finishing as the runner-up to Belgium. The next year, he earned a team-high 3.5 points for the International Team at the 2019 President’s Cup with his only loss coming to Tiger Woods.

While in Norman, Ancer helped current OU head coach Ryan Hybl build a foundation that has sent Oklahoma to five straight NCAA match play championships. His 21-under 195 at the 2011 Desert Shootout is still a school record, and his career scoring average of 72.42 is 10th all-time for the Crimson and Cream.

“I would consider the Olympics like maybe fifth major. One of those for sure,” Ancer said. “It’s different because I didn’t grow up really thinking about the Olympics for golf. Never been part of it. But now that it is, definitely a big deal. Huge deal.”

After a 112-year absence from the Olympic Games, golf was reintroduced at the 2016 Olympics, with Great Britain’s Justin Rose taking home golf. Mexico has never placed a golfer on the medal stand at the Olympics, as 2016 was the first year they competed.

Players will tee off on July 29 at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kawagoe, Saitama, Japan, in a four-round competition.

A total of 81 current or former Sooners (76 athletes and five head coaches) from 10 different countries have participated in the Olympics. OU has had at least one representative in each of the last 20 Summer Games. The largest contingent of Sooners to participate in a single Olympics was nine in 2012.


 

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Ken MacLeod

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