2021 Olympics: Men’s Golf Preview

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Hideki Matsuyama of Team Japan practices at the Kasumigaseki Country Club ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Laura Paterson @ Jul 29, 2021, 11:06 AM

Some of the golfing world’s most prominent names will be featured in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The men’s field features eight of the top-20 golfers from around the world. Who is in for a shot at the gold? Which nation has the strongest chance of winning a medal? Who is the best outside bet?

We cover all of this and give you the best 2021 Men’s Olympics Golf betting odds below.

Top players skip the Olympics

Unfortunately, newly world-ranked No. 1, John Rahm, had to drop out due to a positive Covid-19 result, as did world No. 6 Bryson DeChambeau. Other players chose to skip the Olympics too. 

After a 112-year absence, it seems that it has still not climbed to the top of the priority list for some of the world’s best golfers.

Dustin Johnson made it clear earlier this year that he would not compete, even if he qualified, which he did. His withdrawal was followed by many top golfers like Sergio Garcia (Spain), Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa) and Tyrell Hatton (Great Britain). Several reasons given by these players included Covid-19 complications, focusing on family time, and commitment to other tournaments, such as the Ryder Cup and FedEx Cup.

Men’s golf odds to take home the gold

The 72-hole tournament will take place at the Kasumigaseki Country Club from Thursday, July 29 to Sunday, August 01.

A loaded men’s draw gives this tournament a distinctly major feel about it, and four different nations are sending a golfer ranked in the global top-20. The United States has the most players and sends four top golfers in Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas, and Patrick Reed. Ireland is sending Rory McIlroy, Norway has Viktor Hovland, and Hideki Matsuyama will proudly play for the host nation Japan.

With John Rahm out, who is favored to win?


John Rahm, unfortunately, tested positive before flying out to Tokyo. The world No. 1 was the heavy favorite going into the 2021 Olympics. In his absence, it looks like the year is about to get even better for Collin Morikawa. 

Fresh off his second debut win this season at Royal St. George’s, the odds are on the youngster making it another debut to remember in Tokyo. At +700, he is the favorite to take home the gold medal, and unless he has a hangover from his massive win in Kent, there is no reason why the American should struggle at the Olympics.

Rory McIllroy holds promise for Ireland

Currently ranked 15th in the world, Rory McIlroy has six top-10 finishes in 2021 and came in the top spot at the Wells Fargo Championship in May. The Scottish and British Open weren’t the best for the Irishman, but the Kasumigaseki Country Club course might be better suited to his long drives than the two links-style courses were. He currently ranks eighth in the PGA Tour for SG: OTT (Strokes Gained Off The Tee), which will be advantageous on a course with most holes at par 4. He comes into his first Olympic Games at +1200.

Hideki Matsuyama: Japan’s homegrown hero

He might be an outsider, but the current world-ranked No. 20 Hideki Matsuyama at +1200 is in form and should go further given the home advantage. He might be a bit of a long shot for the Men’s 2021 Olympics Golf gold medal, but keep in mind he won his Asian Amateur on the same course. Japan were the surprise winners here in the 1957 Canada Cup, and there’s an outside chance that Matsuyama could do the same. 

United States are in with a strong chance

It’s hard to see the United States leaving the 2021 Olympic Games without some sort of medal in men’s golf. They have four of the world’s best players in Thomas (OWGR: 4), Morikawa (OWGR: 3), Schauffele (OWGR: 5) and Reed (OWGR: 12). Morikawa is coming off a spectacular win at The British Open and should be brimming with confidence alongside his world-famous national teammates. 

Men’s golf top-10 odds to win the gold medal

Player Country Odds
Collin Morikawa United States +700
Xander Schauffele United States +900
Justin Thomas United States +1000
Rory McIlroy Ireland +1200
Viktor Hovland Norway +1200
Hideki Matsuyama Japan +1200
Patrick Reed United States +1600
Paul Casey United Kingdom +1600
Cameron Smith Australia +2000
Joaquín Niemann Chile +2000

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About the Author

Laura Paterson

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Laura is a dedicated in-house writer for The Media Image. An avid sports fan and field hockey player, she gets her fix through writing on a variety of sports for BetMGM.

Laura is a dedicated in-house writer for The Media Image. An avid sports fan and field hockey player, she gets her fix through writing on a variety of sports for BetMGM.