Men’s golf makes its return to the Olympics for the first time in 112 years when the action gets underway on Thursday at the 2016 Rio Olympics at the Reserva de Marapendi.
Henrik Stenson is listed as the favorite in the golf betting odds to win the gold medal at +550. Sergio Garcia has seen an abundance of late action and is now the second choice in the betting odds at +725.
The Olympics Golf Event
The men’s event will be a run-of-the-mill, 72-hole stroke play event with no cut, beginning on Thursday and concluding on Sunday with Golf Channel exclusively providing television coverage.
There is no team element in this event, much to the chagrin of golf fans worldwide, as the top finisher will win the gold, the second place finisher the silver and the third place finisher the bronze. If there is a tie for any of the top three places, there will be a three-hole playoff.
Current Odds to Win Men’s Olympic Golf Gold Medal
Henrik Stenson +550
Sergio Garcia +725
Justin Rose +1203
Rickie Fowler +1253
Bubba Watson +1453
Patrick Reed +1509
Matt Kuchar +1553
Martin Kaymer +1651
Emiliano Grillo +2208
Danny Willett +2509
Rafa Cabrera Bello +2509
Danny Lee +4000
Jhonattan Vegas +4000
Padraig Harrington +4453
Byeong-Hun An +4500
Bernd Wiesberger +4500
David Hearn +4500
(Odds courtesy BookMaker.eu)
Our Top Golf Picks
The favorite to win the gold medal is Stenson, who is playing better than anyone in the world right now. He won the Open Championship and followed that up with a very good finish in the PGA Championship. He is also the highest-ranked player in the field, with Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy all deciding to skip the Olympics.
Garcia has played really well this year and has top 5 finishes in five of his last seven events. He is the second choice in the betting odds at just better than 7/1. He tied for fifth at the U.S. Open and at the Open Championship. He is known for never winning a major but if he wins a Gold Medal it would go a long way toward quieting his critics.
Justin Rose is actually not ranked as high as his England teammate, Danny Willett, but oddsmakers like his chances better, as Rose is 12/1 while Willet is 25/1. Rose has finished in the top 25 a total of nine times in fourteen starts this season.
Rickie Fowler hasn’t performed that well this year, after being in contention on a regular basis a season ago. He is getting some respect from the oddsmakers, though, with odds of just over 12/1.
The Dark Horses in Olympic Golf
Bubba Watson is not playing that well lately, but he has the pedigree to win an Olympic Gold Medal. He is a two-time major winner and he has played five times in the Presidents Cup and the Ryder Cup so he can handle the pressure. There is no doubt he has the length to dominate this course, which is considered short by today’s standards. In addition, Bubba is the epitome of American pride on the PGA Tour and he wants to represent his country accordingly.
Patrick Reed has had three straight top 15 finishes, but he has yet to get a win in 2016. Teammate Matt Kuchar has also played well of late with six top 10 finishes in his last nine starts, but he has yet to prove he can win on the big stage. Martin Kaymer has seen his odds drop to just over 16/1 and Kaymer has a resume similar to Watson, as Kaymer has won on the big stage in the past.
Live Longshots for the 2016 Summer Olympics
Two live longshots to win Olympic gold are Emiliano Grillo and Rafa Cabrera Bello.
Grillo finished in the top 15 in both the Open Championship and the PGA Championship. If the airlines can find his clubs (Grillo said on Twitter that he made it to Rio but his clubs did not) then there could be some good value on him at 22/1 odds.
Also worth a look is Rafa Cabrera Bello who has five top five finishes this year. He has not won an event since 2012 but he is playing well enough to have a breakthrough at the Olympics.
Don’t forget about Byeong-Hun An at odds of 45/1. He won the BMW PGA Championship last year and nearly won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans this year before losing in a playoff.
Olympic men’s golf events start August 11.
Follow the latest in Olympic golf betting news and all golf events at BigOnSport’s golf betting section.