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Betting on Golf at the Olympic Games

We can bet on professional golf tournaments almost every week. There are four majors each year, while the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup are biennial events.

Betting on Olympic golf is an opportunity that presents itself just once every four years.

The purpose of this guide is to tell you everything you need to know to make money betting on golf at the Olympic Games. That way when the Summer Olympics are on the horizon, you’re fully prepped and ready to go.

About the Olympic Golf Tournaments

Golf’s 112-year hiatus at the Olympic Games came to an end in 2016. The games in Rio marked the first time golf was included in the Summer Olympics since Canada’s George Lyon won the gold medal at the 1904 Olympic Games.

As the current format of Olympic golf stands, there are two distinct events. One for the men and one for the women.

  • Each tournament is 72 holes of stroke-play.
  • The individual who shoots the lowest score walks away with the gold medal.
  • The runner-up is awarded the silver medal while the player who finishes third receives the bronze medal.
  • If there’s a tie for any of the top-3 positions, a three-hole aggregate playoff ensues to determine the order on the podium.

When is the Olympic Golf Tournament?

The men begin on a Thursday and end on Sunday; the women’s tournament commences on the following Wednesday and ends on Saturday.

Dates of the Olympic Golf Tournaments
Year Men’s Tournament Women’s Tournament
2016 Aug 11-14 Aug 17-20
2021 Jul 29-Aug 1 Aug 4-7

Olympic Golf Qualifying

The field is capped at 60 players for each event. The qualification criteria for men and women are the same.

  • Top 15 players in the OWGR (Men) and Rolex Rankings (Women), with a maximum of four players per country.
  • The remainder of the spots will be filled by the highest-ranked golfers hailing from countries that don’t already have two qualified golfers.
  • The International Golf Federation (IGF) ensures a minimum of one golfer from the host country and a minimum of one golfer from all five geographical regions (the Americas, Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania) will be eligible.

Keep in mind that the qualifiers receive invitations to participate in the Olympics. Not all accept.

Where to Bet on Olympic Golf (And When)

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When it comes to golf betting at the Olympic Games, we’ve captured the online sportsbooks that deliver a satisfying experience.

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Those of you looking to put money down via a cell phone or tablet, check out our page dedicated to the best apps for betting on golf.

Olympic golf odds are released as soon as the field is finalized (about five weeks before the Olympic Games get underway). This is the case for the men’s tournament, the women’s golf odds for the Olympics are generated a little bit closer to the event.

As the date of the Opening Ceremony inches closer, additional betting markets (covered in the following section) for the two 72-hole tournaments will begin to populate.

Not every land-based bookmaker is going to offer Olympic golf bets, and you may not even reside in a region that caters to “in-person” gambling in the first place. No problem. Just sign up with one of our recommended online betting sites.

Golf Betting Opportunities at the Olympics

Since the Olympic golf tournaments are 72-hole stroke-play events, you’ll find many of the same wagers you would when betting golf during a typical week.

Betting Options for Olympic Golf
  • Picking a Winner
  • First-Round Leader (FRL)
  • Top-10 Finish
  • H2H Matchups
  • Group Bets

FRL, top-10 finish, and group bets are markets that will close when the tournament begins. However, you’ll be able to live bet on who will win the gold medal throughout the event. You’ll also be able to attack head-to-head matchups for each of the four rounds independently.

Check out the following pages for betting tips and strategy advice for betting on these markets.

As for what makes Olympic golf betting unique, let’s zero in on two additional markets.

To Medal

We see top-5, top-10, and top-20 markets all the time at regular events. A top-3 finish at the Olympics signals winning a medal; hence, you can bet on a golfer landing inside the top 3 at the Olympics.

This Olympic golf betting market is also known as “podium finish.”

Betting on the Nationality of the Winner

Here you can bet not on who is going to win the gold medal, but what nation will he or she represent.

Accounting for the men’s and women’s fields at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, 41 nations were represented. Maybe you’re keen on all of the Americans playing well but are torn by which one to back. In that case, you can choose to bet on an American winning the Golf Olympics.

Tokyo Olympics Golf Betting

  • Course: Kasumigaseki Country Club
  • Men’s Tournament: Jul 29-Aug 1
  • Women’s Tournament: Aug 4-7

From Rory and Rahm to Bryson and Xander, lots of heavy hitters will be in Tokyo competing for some jewelry. At the same time, not every individual who received an invitation to the 2021 Golf Olympics accepted.

The following are among the game’s stars who qualified for the Olympic Games in Tokyo but chose not to come.

  • Dustin Johnson
  • Sergio Garcia
  • Louis Oosthuizen
  • Adam Scott
  • Tyrrell Hatton
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick
  • Lee Westwood
  • Martin Kaymer

That’s just on the men’s side.

Great Britain took a hit when their top-three-ranked players (Hatton, Fitzpatrick, Westwood) declined. GB is sending a couple of “replacements” on the women’s side as well. Charley Hull and Georgia Hall, Great Britain’s two highest-ranked females, both opted out.

If you want to know who will be in Tokyo, what to expect, and who might contend, check out our Olympics blog. We’ll be tracking both the women’s and men’s tournaments before and during the events, and providing plenty of content related to betting on the golf at the Olympics.

You’ll also find some recommended bets for golf and other Olympic events in our betting picks section.

What Happened at the 2016 Golf Olympics?

Men’s Medal Winners

  • Gold – Justin Rose
  • Silver – Henrik Stenson
  • Bronze – Matt Kuchar

Women’s Medal Winners

  • Gold – Inbee Park
  • Silver – Lydia Ko
  • Bronze – Shanshan Feng

Justin Rose (Great Britain) took home the men’s gold medal at Rio in 2016.

Rose battled his good friend (Henrik Stenson) on Sunday as the two European Ryder Cup teammates traded punches while going toe-to-toe in Brazil. Matt Kuchar utilized a sizzling 63 on Sunday to vault up the leaderboard and onto the podium.

Bookended with rounds of 66, Inbee Park (South Korea) cruised to a five-shot victory and added a gold to the South Korea medal count. Lydia Ko finished 2nd, while Shanshan Feng fended off a trio of golfers by a single shot for the final spot on the stage.

Justin Rose and Inbee Park won the gold medals at the 2016 games.

Here’s a look at the top-10 finishers from the Olympic Games in Rio.

2016 Men’s Olympic Golf Tournament
Finish Name Nation Scores Final Score (to Par)
1 Justin Rose Great Britain 67-69-65-67 268 (-16)
2 Henrik Stenson Sweden 66-68-68-68 270 (-14)
3 Matt Kuchar United States 69-70-69-63 269 (-13)
4 Thomas Pieters Belgium 67-66-77-65 275 (-9)
T5 Kiradech Aphibarnrat Thailand 71-69-69-67 276 (-8)
T5 Rafa Cabrera-Bello Spain 67-70-71-68 276 (-8)
T5 Marcus Fraser Australia 63-69-72-72 276 (-8)
T8 Sergio Garcia Spain 69-72-70-66 277 (-7)
T8 Bubba Watson United States 73-67-67-70 277 (-7)
T8 Emiliano Grillo Argentina 70-69-68-70 277 (-7)
2016 Women’s Olympic Golf Tournament
Finish Name Nation Scores Final Score (to Par)
1 Inbee Park South Korea 66-66-70-66 268 (-16)
2 Lydia Ko New Zealand 69-70-65-69 273 (-11)
3 Shanshan Feng China 70-67-68-69 274 (-10)
T4 Amy Yang South Korea 73-65-70-67 275 (-9)
T4 Haru Nomura Japan 69-69-72-65 275 (-9)
T4 Stacy Lewis United States 70-63-76-66 275 (-9)
T7 Minjee Lee Australia 69-67-73-67 276 (-8)
T7 Brooke Henderson Canada 70-64-75-67 276 (-8)
T7 Charley Hull Great Britain 68-66-74-68 276 (-8)
10 Suzann Pettersen Norway 71-70-68-69 277 (-7)

More Summer Olympics Betting Guides

Few things in the world of online gambling are as exhilarating as betting on the Summer Olympics. Occurring just once every four years, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) continues to think progressively and add sports into the repertoire.

Golf was reintroduced in 2016, which is why we created this one-stop shop for golf betting at the Olympics. For those interested in placing wagers on other Olympic sports, look through the devoted guides below.

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