Mens Olympic Golf
It’s been over a century since golf was last hosted at the Olympic Games in St Louis 1904, and bearing this in mind, many of us still question why it’s taken 112 years to welcome the greatest sport in the world back to the Olympics. The overdue return has taken a back seat recently as every like minded golfer has been engaged with the most recent Majors (not to mention Jim Furyk’s 58 last week!), however with these now behind us, we can now truly relish the return of golf to the Olympics as we witness history in the making.
The anticipated return of golf to the Olympics Games has seen its fair share of backlash & opinionated debates since the decision was made by the IOC in 2009 to re-introduce the sport. Many believe the competitors should be amateurs to maintain tradition as originally founded by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, these arguments stating the Olympic icons such as Usain Bolt & Mo Farah have only achieved greatness through the opportunities provided by the Olympics. Others believe professional golfers already have enough opportunities to reach for the stars, and it’s a ‘disgrace’ that certain golfers will not represent their country as it doesn’t fit into their schedule.
The purpose built Olympic par 71 course has been designed by Gil Hanse in the Barra Da Tijuca neighbourhood, measuring 7,128 yards. The land secured for the golf course features three distinctions: a sand-filled former mining site to the north, a low-lying middle area, and an environmentally-sensitive area with dense vegetation to the south. The crocodile – infested waters are not the only worry, as the local area is swamped with sloths, capybaras and boa constrictors. Did I mention the Zika virus?
As expected, the spending of billions of dollars on the World Cup & Olympic Games within 24 months of one another has caused scenes of protest, with millions of Brazilians rioting in 180 different cities. Local taxes have risen as more money has been pumped into the Olympic Games while Brazil itself only has 1 male participant in the top 700 in the world.
On the other hand, Brazilian optimists have backed these projects, as the Olympic course will be opened to the public after the Games to enhance golf’s profile in Brazil, while the Olympic Committee believes this represents ‘one of the most important Olympic Games legacies for sport development in the country.’
Whichever side of the fence you sit on, the only guarantee we have is with the likes of Bubba & Rose representing their countries, we certainly can expect our fair share of national pride, trash talk & over exaggerated fist pumps!
Justin Rose 12/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £170.00
English hopeful Rose is certainly making the most of this opportunity to represent GB at the Olympics. He has already attended the opening ceremony, stayed in the Olympic village and also supported many of his fellow Brits in different events, including Adam Peaty in the swimming.
Rose flew out to Rio over a week ago as he prepares mentally and physically for the Olympic golf, acclimatising his body to the humidity while describing the course as similar to Australian sandbelt courses, which is one of his favourite lay outs to play on. He will be one of the later tee offs on the opening day, which can only work in his favour as this will offer him the opportunity to watch other competitors and the way the newly built course is playing. Justin has voiced how confident and ready he is heading into this Olympic campaign, and with 7 top 25 finishes in the Open Championship and his meticulous preparation, we are certainly backing Rose for gold!
Martin Kaymer 18/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £245.00
Kaymer is always up there with the favourites when it comes to placing bets, so it is no surprise that he’s up there again. His recent improved form has been rewarded with odds of 18/1 with many of the top bookies, which if anything seems slightly overpriced to us. His long ball game & solid wedge play will certainly suit this course, and from what we’ve seen the odd wayward shot on this course will not punish the players as most other courses would. The German has certainly made his passion for his country clear before, and with a nation backing him for gold, Kaymer certainly must fancy his odds to make the podium.
Patrick Reed 18/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £245.00
Reed has made his way into our betting shortlist this week as he is well suited to this course. Reed enters the Olympics coming of the back of 3 top 15 finishes, including a 12th place finish at Royal Troon only last month. The Olympic golf course has been designed by Gil Hanse who also designed Castle Stuart, and with the courses offering similar style, Reed must be feeling confident after finishing in the top 10 at Castle Stuart even after a disappointing opening round of 75. Reed is continuously knocking on the door at the moment, and with a course suited to his style, will this be the door that opens?
David Lingmerth 66/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £845.00
The name David Lingmerth seems to be popping up rather frequently recently. The American- based Swede is certainly having a good season for a golfer who’s been priced at a whopping 66/1. The Scandanavians are certainly taking this tournament seriously, and with all eyes on favourite Stenson, don’t be surprised to see Lingmerth sneak his way up the leaderboard. After a recent T22 at the PGA posting a respectable -4, Lingmerth will be looking to take his solid recent form into the Olympics, and with Stenson involved in the team talks, Lingmerth could find himself in contention this week.
Nicholas Colsaert 70/1 – Stake £5 e/w Potential return £447.50
Colsaert will be following in his great grandfather’s footsteps as he competes in the Olympics this week. Colsaert senior competed in the 1920 Olympics for Belgium in water polo and also basketball. Bearing this in mind, the sense of family honour and achievement must be overwhelming for the Colsaert family. The short par 4’s and reachable par 5’s certainly suit the Belgian Bombers long game, and with his recent GIR statistics it seems almost impossible the Belgian hasn’t picked up any silverware the last few years. If there’s ever been a course built to suit Colsaert, it’s this one.
Scott Hend 100/1 – Stake £5 e/w Potential return £635.00
Before you think we’ve lost our marbles, hear us out. The Aussie has found himself on multiple occasions recently in contention of a good result; however has fallen short at the last hurdle. Hend built his reputation as one of the best international golfers on the Asian Tour in tournaments played in the most humid and dry climates, similar to Rio’s forecast. The reduced field missing some of the top names can only benefit Hend, and with odds being offered of up to 100/1, we certainly will be placing our money each way on the Aussie born hot- head.