Two tournaments. That is all the time that remains for Xiyu ‘Janet’ Lin to qualify for the Chinese Olympic Team and join 2016 bronze medalist Shanshan Feng representing her native country in Japan.
“It’s a really big honor because the Olympics are every four years,” said Lin. “Imagine a player in their career: What are the most (number of) Olympics they can play? I would say maybe four at most. Every one of them is really important. I feel like in 2016, I was still a little young so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have.”
Lin is currently No. 72 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings and just two spots behind her fellow countrywoman, Yu Liu. A nation could send up to four players if all are inside the top-15 of the rankings, otherwise it’s a maximum of two competitors into the 60-player field.
Liu is not in the field for this week’s Meijer LPGA Classic but will return in Georgia at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. It’s an opportunity for Lin, with a strong showing at Blythefield Country Club, to close the gap.
“We’ve always had a kind of similar relationship, never really changed a lot,” said Lin, who owns three top-20 results in six Meijer LPGA Classic starts. “We were even paired together in the third round of the U.S. Women’s Open and we talked about it. We are always friends first. There are not many Chinese players out on Tour so I will always root for her no matter what. At the same time, we’re competitors.
“Everyone is chasing the same goals. Unfortunately, only two people going to make it. I am going to try my best and she's going to try her best, then we’ll see how it’s going to come out. It's just a little part of our life. Besides that, we're still good friends.”