Betting Guide: Olympic Men's Golf Competition
Picking winners of a golf tournament is hard. Doing it consistently is downright impossible. But finding value is something all bettors must practice in order to give themselves the best chance to make hay when the day finally comes that they ping a champion.
Below, we will cover the best bets for the Olympics based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Four of the top golfers in the world will represent the United States in the Tokyo Olympics event that starts this Wednesday at the East Course at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama, Japan. Many other PGA Tour members will represent their home countries, and several non-PGA Tour members fill out the 60-man field vying for gold.
Kasumigaseki underwent a Tom Fazio redesign leading up to the Olympics, primarily to combine greens that were previously split between winter and summer. The course now measures to 7,447 yards to its par 71, and green sizes were also expanded, with the average now up to 7,800 square feet.
With very little history, we'll have to go off recent form, form in Asia, and performance on Fazio courses, which include recent fill-ins Congaree Country Club and Shadow Creek Country Club, as well as PGA Tour staples Quail Hollow Club, PGA National and the now retired Firestone Country Club.
For more info on the Kasumigaseki Country Club along with this week's key stats, check out the course primer.
Hideki Matsuyama (+1100) - Matsuyama will proudly represent his home country at a course where he has some great memories. He won the 2009 Japan Junior and the 2010 Asia-Pacific Amateur (which was on the West Course). He's also a great fit across the board. We can start with his record in Asia, which includes top=five finishes at TPC Kuala Lumpur (CIMB Classic, three times), Nine Bridges (CJ CUP, 2019), and Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club (ZOZO Championship, 2019), and a win at Sheshan International Golf Club (WGC-HSBC Champions, 2017). He was also victorious at the Fazio-designed Firestone in 2017, at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Sungjae Im (+2700) and Si Woo Kim (+4200) - These two South Koreans have a lot more at stake here than anyone else, as their home country mandates military service for all able-bodied men by their 28th birthday. Their emphasis on the Olympics was so strong that both withdrew from The Open Championship to focus on preparing for the Games and avoid any potential COVID pitfalls or travel issues. Neither is particularly long off the tee, and each has had a fairly inconsistent season.
Sungjae's lone PGA Tour win came at the Honda Classic at PGA National, one of Fazio's courses. He was also third at the inaugural ZOZO Championship in Japan. Si Woo has the higher win equity, with a victory earlier this year and two others in his PGA career. While Sungjae will have another opportunity to qualify in 2024, this is Si Woo's last shot to avoid the military.
Devoted PGA Tour fans enjoy Sungjae's calm, unflappable demeanor and Si Woo's sometimes explosive emotion, and the Tour is more exciting with them in it. Whether we bet them or not, hopefully both are on the podium at the end of the week.
Xander Schauffele (+900) - Schauffele gets the nod over the Champion Golfer of the Year in Collin Morikawa (+750) and major champion Justin Thomas (+1000) on the strength of a 12-month stretch that, shot for shot, has been as good as almost any golfer in the world but which has been without a single victory. It would be just like him to win a small field event that is unquestionably a huge accomplishment but also not quite up to snuff with what the other top players in his sport have achieved. Schauffele did get a rare win at the WGC-HSBC Champions in 2018 and finished runner up in his title defense, and good finishes at TPC Kuala Lumpur (T3 in 2017), Shadow Creek (runner up in 2020), and Accordia Golf Narashino (T10 in 2019) make him the pick of the U.S. studs at the top of the markets.
Thomas Detry (+6500) - Detry has been hot and cold of late, with two runner-up finishes and three missed cuts in his last five events. Worldwide since the start of 2017, he has 24 top 10s but zero victories, with his lone win as a pro coming in his first season on the Challenge Tour in 2016. Now the 75th-ranked golfer in the world, Detry has a chance to continue climbing and earn entry into World Golf Championships events and develop some real staying power between the PGA Tour and European Tour. A gold medal at the Olympics would make him a household name and could kickstart his career.