We’ve had to wait an extra year, but the Olympics are finally underway and some of the best golfers in the world have converged on Tokyo to play for the coveted gold medal! The action gets underway on Thursday, the 30th of July and continues through to Sunday.
Check out our full preview and betting tips for the event below.
Kasumigaseki Country Club, Thursday 29th July – Sunday 1st August
What an event this is shaping up to be! The four majors of the 2021 season are in the books but we still have plenty of golf to look forward to, with this Olympic event kicking off a fantastic few months of golf that includes the FedEx Cup playoffs and the Ryder Cup!
60 of the best golfers in the world have been assembled to compete for the coveted Olympic Gold Medal, just the 2nd to be awarded since golf returned as an Olympic sport in 2016 after a 112-year absence.
As always, the qualification process for the Olympic games is strict. As it was in 2016, just 60 players qualify for the four-day event, which won’t have a cut. The top 15 players in the world automatically qualify, with a limit of four golfers from an individual country to qualify in this criterion. From there, the top two ranked golfers from each nation will qualify until a starting list of 60 golfers is assembled.
The process has left us with a really interesting field, with the United States being the only country to qualify the full four participants. The field is really top heavy, as after the top two players from each of the powerhouse golfing nations are represented, the rest of the field is made up of players from less known golf countries in the likes of New Zealand, Denmark, Austria, Phillepines, Zimbabwe, Paraguay and India.
Some of the top names in the field include the four Americans in Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed alongside a contingent of Europeans in Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Paul Casey, Shane Lowry and Tommy Fleetwood. Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman will represent the Australians but all eyes will be on hometown hero Hideki Matsuyama, who will be looking to add an Olympic Gold Medal to the Green Jacket he secured earlier this year.
Kasumigaseki Country Club (East Course) was founded in the 1920’s and is located about an hour from Tokyo’s downtown area. It most recently hosted the Asia-Pacific Championship in 2010 and plays as a Par 71 at just over 7,440 yards.
As most Japanese courses are, the layout is a picturesque parkland style course, littered with lakes, bunkers and heavily tree-lined fairways. We will be targeting accurate players off the tee this weekend, as finding the fairways and staying out the trees will be crucial.
There are two players who I will be playing aggressively this weekend, both are Asian, one of them is the hometown hero in Hideki Matsuyama. The Japanese star has had a fantastic season, highlighted of course, by the win at the Masters, his first major championship victory. He has played 22 PGA Tour events this season, missing the cut in just four of them and racking up nine top 25 finishes. He will be more experienced at Kasumigaseki Country Club than any other player in the field this weekend and will be absolutely desperate to win gold in his home Olympics.
The South Korean seems to be someone that is taking this Olympic campaign more seriously than anyone else. The No.27 ranked golfer in the world hasn’t played a PGA Tour event since the start of the month and opted not to play in the British Open, instead taking the extra time to prepare himself for a run at an Olympic Medal. It’s no secret that success when representing country is the ultimate in South Korea, so Im will have extra motivation here.
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