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Golf Power Rankings for the Tokyo Olympics

| July 22, 2021 6:56 am PDT

The men’s golf tournament at the Tokyo Olympics is loaded with superstars. Despite a few big names passing on their invitation, the field of 60 includes five of the top-six players in the world and a wealth of international talent.

The festivities at Kasumigaseki Country Club are set to get underway on July 29th and odds for who brings home the gold are available at the top Olympics betting sites. Here’s a look at the top contenders for the Olympic Golf Tournament – power rankings style.

I’ll begin the countdown at #12.

12 – Joaquin Nieman

  • Nation: Chile
  • OWGR: 26

A trio of runner-up finishes in 2021 has propelled Joaquin Nieman inside the top-15 of the FedEx Cup Standings. Nieman’s latest runner-up showing was on July 4th in Detroit where he completed 72 holes without a single blemish on his card.

Although he ultimately came up short in the playoff, the young Chilean is excited about his upcoming opportunity.

“I mean, I’m pretty happy with how my game is right now. I think there’s big tournaments coming up now and I’m pretty happy the way I’m playing.”

“Joaco” sits top-10 on TOUR in scoring average and driving distance; he’s 12th in SG: Total.

11 – Hideki Matsuyama

  • Nation: Japan
  • OWGR: 20

Recency bias from not playing in The Open could detract some bettors, but I’m a little down on Hideki for other reasons. Not only has his practice schedule been altered due to being quarantined, but he hasn’t shown any sincere form since slipping the Green Jacket in April.

Hideki Matsuyama Slipping? – 5 Starts Since Winning the Masters
Date Tournament Result
7/4 Rocket Mortgage Classic WD (after first round)
6/20 US Open T26
6/6 the Memorial Tournament T62
5/23 PGA Championship T23
5/16 AT&T Byron Nelson T39

On the other hand, it shouldn’t be too hard for Matsuyama to feel invigorated playing on his home soil. His iron play and chipping are among the best in the field.

10 – Rory McIlroy

  • Nation: Ireland
  • OWGR: 15

Coming off a lackluster performance at Royal St George’s (T46), Rory didn’t sound thrilled about the idea of traversing to Tokyo.

When asked about his excitement level to kick off the Summer Games, Rors was rather blunt with his assessment.

“I’m not a very patriotic guy. I’m doing it because I think it is the right thing to do. I missed it last time in Rio and for golf to be an Olympic sport you need your best players there and I feel I want to represent the game of golf more than anything else.”

Sure, Rory wasn’t at his best at The Open and isn’t as amped up as some of the other competitors. Nevertheless, he won at Quail Hollow in May and finished 7th at Torrey Pines in June. And he’s still one of the sweetest swingers on the planet.

9 – Shane Lowry

  • Nation: Ireland
  • OWGR: 39

There’s no cut in Tokyo, but it’s not like that matters to a guy like Shane Lowry. Arriving in Japan on the heels of 11 straight made cuts, the jolly Irishman has accrued a number of top-10 finishes this season.

He’s fresh off a T12 in his title defense at The Open Championship where he finished T6 in GIR.

Now playing freely upon being a virtual lock to make the European Ryder Cup team, Lowry can shift his focus to putting four rounds together at the Olympics.

Make sure you shop your lines! Lowry is priced at +3300 at BetOnline versus +1800 at BetUS.

8 – Justin Thomas

  • Nation: United States
  • OWGR: 3

Before I catch grief for slotting the 3rd-ranked player in the world 8th in my Olympic golf power rankings, hear me out.

Since his jaw-dropping performance at THE PLAYERS in March, Justin Thomas has teed it up 10 times across the globe. His T8 at the Scottish Open is his lone top-10 during the stretch.

During his last five starts on the PGA Tour, JT has cracked the top-40 just once (T19 at the US Open).

I wasn’t going to make a big deal about Thomas recently switching putters, but missing tap-ins for bogey make me a little bit wary.

7 – Paul Casey

  • Nation: Great Britain
  • OWGR: 22

Perched inside the-5 in total driving and 7th in SG: Tee-to-Green, this ball-striking wizard is a sneaky pick to wind up on the podium in Tokyo. Casey racked up his 9th top-15 in 2021 at the British Open – seven of those results are of the top-10 variety.

Angling to cement his spot on the European team flight heading to Whistling Straits in September, Paul was one of five men to shoot par or better all four days at Royal St George’s.

6 – Cameron Smith

  • Nation: Australia
  • OWGR: 28

A 74 on Sunday in Sandwich left a bitter taste in Cameron’s mouth, but there’s plenty of positives to build on leading into the Olympics. Smith knows his game is in a good spot, as evidenced by him being the lone player in the field to birdie the final two holes in round four.

“A couple of tweaks here and there and I’m sure I’ll be up the leaderboard at the Olympics.”

Ranked 1st on the PGA Tour in putting average, 2nd in sand save %, and 7th in birdie average, good luck finding someone in this field with a more dependable short game.

5 – Bryson DeChambeau

  • Nation: United States
  • OWGR: 6

Nothing about Bryson’s recent results hint that a top-flight performance is in store. DeChambeau hasn’t finished better than 18th in any of his last seven starts. He’s broken 70 once over his last seven competitive rounds.

At the same time, we’re talking about the man leading the TOUR in SG: Off-the-Tee and a guy who’s top-10 in putting from inside 10 feet. Without knowing much about the Olympic golf venue, other than it’s a par-71 track measuring north of 7,400 yards, something tells me that length off the tee will be a big advantage.

4 – Xander Schauffele

  • Nation: United States
  • OWGR: 5

It wasn’t the week he had envisioned in Southeast England, but a closing 65 gives Xander a little pep in his step heading to Tokyo. Trailing only Jon Rahm and Louis Oosthuizen in the SG: Total category, Schauffele is as rock-solid as they come and a guy who thrives on the biggest stages.

Hence, the dude has compiled top-10s in exactly half of his major appearances (9/18).

For what it’s worth, Xander has appeared to ditch his armlock putting experiment and is back to a standard-length putter with his patented left-hand low grip.

3 – Viktor Hovland

  • Nation: Norway
  • OWGR: 11

A shoo-in to make Padraig Harrington’s Ryder Cup squad, the days of Viktor Hovland being hailed as an up-and-comer are long gone. The 23-year-old Norwegian has posted three victories and six other top-3s since the start of 2020, he’s missed one cut worldwide over the last 16 months.

Before Hovland closed with a bogey-free 66 at The Open (T12), Rory McIlroy had already expressed his desire to team up with Viktor at Whistling Straights.

“If he was trying to choose a partner, I’d put my hand up and like to guide him around.”

2 – Collin Morikawa

  • Nation: United States
  • OWGR: 3

Ahead of the Memorial, Collin Morikawa was candid with reporters about the potential of being an Olympian.

“Yeah, definitely we’re on the cusp of making the team right now and there’s a few weeks with some really big events. But I would go, I absolutely would go. I would never take a second thought on that. It’s the Olympics.”

Collin proceeded to finish 2nd at Jack’s Place, 4th at the US Open, and most recently, hoist the Claret Jug. It’s safe to say that the 24-year-old American is warranted a spot on the team.

1 – Jon Rahm  

  • Nation: Spain
  • OWGR: 1

Superlative is about the only word I can think of to rationalize just how well Jon Rahm hit the golf ball on Sunday at Royal St George’s. He couldn’t buy a bucket on the greens and still shot 66 (T3), more than enough to solidify his status as the #1 player in the sport.

Top-10s in all four majors and itching for a chance to compete for Spain, Rahm’s locked in as the overwhelming betting favorite to win the Olympic Golf Tournament in Tokyo. He’s also locked into the top spot in my power rankings for the Golf Olympics.

Betting on the Olympic Golf Tournament in Tokyo

Our guide to betting on golf at the Olympics lays down the foundation for how to get money down on the action at Kasumigaseki CC. These Olympic golf power rankings offer a look at the top contenders in Tokyo.

As the competition draws closers, I’ll be unleashing my top Olympic golf picks here.

Michael Wynn
Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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