Olympics Golf Odds: Four Golfers To Watch In Tokyo

Written By FairwayJay on July 25, 2021 - Last Updated on July 27, 2021
olympics golf odds

The Summer Olympics have started, and the golf tournament is set to begin Wednesday evening American time / Thursday morning Japan time. But before the golfers hit their first shots, the event has a double-bogey on the Olympics golf odds board with two of the world’s leading golfers forced to withdraw due to COVID-19.

World No. 1 Jon Rahm was knocked out of the Olympics Sunday. Rahm’s positive test was announced by the Spanish Olympic committee just hours after American Bryson DeChambeau suffered the same fate Saturday in his final screening before departing the U.S. for Tokyo.

DeChambeau, ranked No. 6 in the world, will be replaced on the U.S. team by No. 13 Patrick Reed, who competed in the Rio Games in 2016. Reed joins three other top-five players in the world to complete for the United States – 2021 British Open champion Collin Morikawa, 2021 PLAYERS Championship winner Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele.

The absence of Rahm and DeChambeau means Olympic golf will be without the last two U.S. Open champions.

A total of 60 golfers will compete in four rounds of stroke play with the top three individual scores earning Gold, Silver and Bronze medals.

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Olympics Golf Odds

Rahm and DeChambeau withdrawing from the tournament has shuffled up the top of the odds board. Collin Morikawa won the Open Championship in the United Kingdom two weeks ago and is now the favorite to win gold.

Men's Olympic Golf Outrights

Game
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Collin Morikawa (USA)
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+650
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+700
Xander Schauffele (USA)
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+800
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+950
Justin Thomas (USA)
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+1100
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+1000
Rory McIlroy (IRL)
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+1200
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+1100
Viktor Hovland (NOR)
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+1100
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+1200
Hideki Matsuyama (JPN)
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+1200
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+1200
Patrick Reed (USA)
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+1400
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+1400
Paul Casey (GBR)
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+1200
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+1600
Shane Lowry (IRL)
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+2200
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+1800
Joaquin Niemann (CHI)
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+2200
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+2000
Cameron Smith (AUS)
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+2800
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+2200
Abraham Ancer (MEX)
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+1800
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+2200
Corey Conners (CAN)
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+2800
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+2700
Sungjae Im (KOR)
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+2800
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+2700
Tommy Fleetwood (GBR)
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+2800
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+3100
Marc Leishman (AUS)
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+3500
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+3300
Christiaan Bezuidenhout (RSA)
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+2800
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+3300
Garrick Higgo (RSA)
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+5000
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+4100
Si Woo Kim (KOR)
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+6500
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+4500
Guido Migliozzi (ITA)
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+5500
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+4500
Jhonattan Vegas (VEN)
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+7000
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+5000
Alex Noren (SWE)
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+6000
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+5000
Thomas Pieters (BEL)
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+7000
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+6000
Carlos Ortiz (MEX)
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+8000
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+6000
Thomas Detry (BEL)
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+8000
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+6500
Mackenzie Hughes (CAN)
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+7000
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+6500
Antoine Rozner (FRA)
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+10000
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+8000
Rikuya Hoshino (JPN)
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+13000
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+8000
Sebastian Munoz (COL)
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+8000
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+9000
Matthias Schwab (AUT)
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+13000
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+10000
Ryan Fox (NZL)
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+13000
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+10000

To view the rest of the pre-tournament odds board, go to DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook before the tournament begins Wednesday at 6:00p ET (Thursday local time in Japan). Odds will shift to live betting markets based on on-course performance once the tournament begins.

Players In Olympic Field From World Golf Rankings Top 50

  • Collin Morikawa (3)
  • Justin Thomas (4)
  • Xander Schauffele (5)
  • Patrick Reed (8)
  • Viktor Hovland (11)
  • Rory McIlroy (15)
  • Hideki Matsuyama (20)
  • Paul Casey (22)
  • Abraham Ancer (23)
  • Joaquin Niemann (26)
  • Sungjae Im (27)
  • Cameron Smith (28)
  • Tommy Fleetwood (34)
  • Marc Leishman (35)
  • Corey Connors (36)
  • Shane Lowry (39)
  • Gerrick Higgo (43)
  • Christiaan Bezuidenhout (46)

2021 Masters Champion Hideki Matsuyama represents his home country’s best hope to win gold at fabled Kasumigaseki, one hour outside of Tokyo. The 29-year-old Japanese star has been practicing gradually since he too tested positive for COVID-19 on July 2. That has not deterred those who set the Olympics golf odds. As a teenager, Matsuyama won the 2009 Japan Junior and 2010 Asia Pacific Amateur Championship at Kasumigaseki Country Club prior to the East Course’s renovation.

There might not be bigger sentimental favorites in the eyes of some people watching the Olympics than Sungjae Im (23 years old) and Si Woo Kim (26 years old). South Korea’s government mandates able-bodied men between the ages 18 and 28 serve a minimum of one year and six months in the military. The South Korean government will grant a release from the military obligation for athletes that win a medal at the Olympics. If you don’t believe they can win gold but still want to bet the narrative, Im is +600 and Kim +1000 to finish top five in Olympics golf odds at DK Sportsbook.

Course and Tournament Info

  • Course: Kasumigaseki Country Club (East Course)
  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
  • Date: July 29 – Aug. 1
  • Par: 71 / Yardage 7,447
  • Fairways: Zoysia
  • Greens: Bentgrass
  • TV: Golf Channel (Thurs-Sun) starting at 6:30 p.m. ET
  • Twitter: @OlympicGolf

Kasumigaseki Country Club’s East Course was renovated in 2016 by Tom Fazio with his son Logan leading the design effort. The course features tree-lined fairways, deep bunkers and penal rough.

The East Course was lengthened and re-contoured to bring more strategic elements into play. Trees were moved to assist with that strategy, and a lot of dirt was moved to add more contours and elevation changes. This provides more varied and less predictable lies and stances to hit shots.

The two-green system found on most golf courses in Japan including the previous East Course was modified to a single green per hole, which had also recently been done on the West Course. The bentgrass greens on the East Course are medium-to-large in size and many putting surfaces are raised with bunkers sitting below to allow for more contours and angles to the green approaches and surfaces. The greens have been cut very short and will be lightning fast, although rain would soften the greens and also have the course playing a little longer.

New turfgrass (zoysia) was planted throughout the course to allow more control of and be sensitive to water use while promoting superior turfgrass playing conditions. Zoysia is a spongy grass, and the ball sits up more in the fairways allowing for better contact and spin control into the greens.

The course is compact and very walkable, and patrons of the Olympics will have great visibility of the golf course and the golfers. However, it’s hot, near 90 degrees, and very humid. There is also a 50% chance of rain and scattered thunderstorms in the forecast for golf Friday through Sunday.

Tom Fazio Designed Golf Courses and other Comp Courses

Tom Fazio-designed courses on the PGA TOUR include Quail Hollow, Shadow Creek Country Club and Conway Farms. Rory McIlroy is a two-time winner of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow, including in 2021 by one stroke over Abraham Ancer and two shots in front of third place finisher Viktor Hovland.

Golf courses that featured zoysia fairways and rough include Trinity Forest, TPC Craig Ranch and Bellerive Country Club. So does Naranshino Country Club, which was the site of the 2019 ZOZO Championship where Hideki Matsuyama finished second and three shots in front of Rory McIlroy and Sungjae Im, who tied for third.

What is the Tournament Format?

A total of 60 players compete through four rounds of stroke play. There is no cut after Round 2 in this tournament. Olympic medals are awarded to the three lowest individual scores.

How Was Field Chosen?

The players earned their way into the Olympics based on their world rankings as of June 21. The top 15 players in each set of rankings qualified. Each country was limited to four golfers through that qualification format. The remaining spots went to the highest-ranked players from countries that did not already have two golfers qualified.

2016 Rio Games Remembered

Justin Rose won a golf medal representing Great Britain when golf was resurrected at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio after more than a century without golf in the Olympics. He edged Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, who took the Silver Medal following a memorable final day duel. Matt Kuchar took the bronze for Team USA with a closing 63 and was emotional on the podium, signifying the enormity of the moment for golf at the Olympics and something bigger than the sport itself.   

Golfers to Watch

Beyond the leading favorites in the 60-player field, here are other golfers to watch that have proven profiles and stats or offer greater odds when shooting for a Gold Medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Abraham Ancer (+2200 William Hill)

Ancer has had success on another tough Tom Fazio design at Quail Hollow. He finished 2nd on the course for the Wells Fargo Championship this year, one shot behind Rory McIlroy and just in front of Viktor Hovland. He also finished top 20 despite a poor final round at the WGC-Workday event at The Concession earlier this year, which is looking more like another comp course with superior iron and approach play required into quadrants and positions on larger greens. Ancer is so accurate off the tee, and the strength of his iron game shows in his high rate hitting greens, which ranks top 25 on the PGA TOUR. He’s a proven shot shaper who ranks top five on approach and putting on bentgrass greens over his last 50 rounds, and the 30-year-old representing Mexico is also top five on the PGA TOUR this season in par-4 scoring and No. 1 in efficiency from 400-450 yards. Ancer enters playing very well over his last three months and seven PGA TOUR tournaments, as he’s finished top five three times and also has a top 10 finish. A good week appears likely over four rounds with no cut.

Joaquin Niemann (+2500 PointsBet)

When navigating Olympics golf odds, it may help to know which professionals desire the gold medal most. The Olympic games are more meaningful to Joaquin Niemann, who has expressed his interest to become just the third Chilean to win a gold medal. The creative shot-maker is an exceptional talent at age 22 and a big hitter who should set himself up for better approach opportunities. Niemann has gained strokes on approach in 10 of his 11 events in the U.S., and finished T2 in the Rocket Mortgage Classic this month after losing in a playoff. He was top 20 on the Fazio-designed Quail Hollow course in May, and over his last 36 rounds, Niemann’s strokes gained stats are very strong. He ranks No. 12 in putting and top 10 in approach, ball striking, tee-to-green and top five in off-the-tee and strokes gained total.

Sungjae Im (+2800 DraftKings)

If you’re playing the motivation angle in Olympics golf odds, then 23-year-old Sungjae Im has it more than most shooting for a medal. Should he win an Olympic medal, Im will be released of his military obligation mandated by the South Korean government. Im lacks distance off the tee, but he’s a strong ball striker who has gained strokes on approach in four straight tournaments. He’s also gained strokes putting in 13 of his last 17 PGA TOUR events, and ranks top 20 in most strokes gained stats.

Thomas Pieters (+7000 DraftKings)

Pieters is another big hitter who does most of his damage on the European Tour. He’s more skilled than his No. 120 position in the world rankings attests, and the 29-year-old has had success on zoysia grass with a T6 finish on the Fazio-designed Bellerive CC course at the 2018 PGA Championship. Pieters is among the best on par-4 efficiency from 450 yards out, and he’s had strong finishes in other major championships where his tee-to-green game has been a real strength. Over the last three years, Pieters has played in 13 PGA TOUR events, and gained strokes total in ten of them with most showing significant gains. Among Olympics golf odds longshots, he stands out pre-tournament.

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FairwayJay

FairwayJay is a leading national sports and gaming analyst and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful professionals. Jay has pursued his passions and maintained a pulse on the sports, gaming and poker industries while living in Las Vegas for nearly two decades. He's been a regular featured guest on sports and gaming radio shows, podcasts and produces sports betting and related industry articles and content for various sites and sources.

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