If golf were in these Olympics (it returns to the Games in 2016) the United States would have four players in competition -- Tiger Woods, Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson and Jason Dufner.
No Phil Mickelson.
The way the selection process is set, players will be chosen based on their world ranking on a certain date. The two top-ranked players for each competing country will qualify. If a country has four players among the top 15 in the world, it will be allowed to enter four players.
That's not likely to change.
What should change is the Olympic format. Right now, it calls for a 72-hole stroke-play tournament just like almost every other golf tournament. So much for imagination or creativity. As others have suggested, how about two-man team play or something else?
Since they still haven't started building the Olympic course in Rio, it's not too late to tinker with the format.