Oct 31 (Reuters) - Russell Knox carded a first round 64 to sit two strokes off the lead at the Bermuda Championship on Thursday and while a win at the tournament would do his ranking no harm the Scot knows there is little chance of claiming a spot at the 2020 Olympic Games.
Unless Scotland gains independence, that is.
Inverness-born Knox is the second highest world-ranked Scottish player behind Robert MacIntyre and has represented Scotland twice at golf’s World Cup but he is not in the top 10 in the British rankings, which are dominated by English players.
Only a maximum of four players from any one nation can compete in Olympic golf, two if ranked outside the top 15.
“The Olympics, to be honest, are not really on my radar because I’m under United Kingdom/Great Britain,” Knox said after carding his seven-under-par round at Port Royal Golf Club.
“I’ve got a lot of English guys that are very strong players ahead of me.
“I mean, I wish Scotland was independent and we could go under Scotland, then I would have obviously a much better chance, but I’m going to have to get going a lot if I’m going to make it for Great Britain.”
A victory this week would be a good start at a new PGA Tour tournament lacking the game’s biggest names, who are either playing the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai or taking the week off.
Knox would prefer to be in Shanghai, where he recorded the biggest victory of his career three years ago, but did not qualify this year.
“When I wasn’t going to make it into the WGC event in China and this was available, I’m like, absolutely we’re coming. Definitely happy to be here,” he said.
American Scottie Scheffler leads in Bermuda with a 62. (Reporting by Andrew Both in Tokyo; Editing by Peter Rutherford )