The return of the golf tournament at the 2016 Rio Olympics will be a bit short of star power, with the likes of Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, and Rory McIlroy all declining to participate. So with the top golfers in the world out of the picture, which golfers can step up and be the top contenders for the medals in golf? Let’s check out what some top experts think and see who they have on the podium.
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Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Men’s Golf Expert Picks and Predictions
|Bubba Watson||Sergio Garcia||Padraig Harrington|
Meanwhile, Padraig Harrington is their pick to take home the bronze. (He’s priced at +3,300 to win the gold.) The 44-year-old Irishman, though, has only finished in the top 10 once in 15 events this season. He followed up a commendable T13 finish at the PGA Championship with a disastrous T64 at the recently concluded Travelers Championship.
SI also advises us to watch out for British Open winner Henrik Stenson as another possible medal contender. That’s a decent tip, considering the Swede is actually the +550 favorite to claim the gold.
|Sergio Garcia||Henrik Stenson||Matt Kuchar|
The AP has gone with SI’s silver medalist, Sergio Garcia, to go one step higher in the podium and get the gold in Rio. The veteran had been playing some outstanding golf prior to missing the cut at the PGA Championship. He won a playoff at the AT&T Byron Nelson, and also had back-to-back T5 finishes at two majors – the U.S. Open and The Open Championship.
Garcia, who is still in search of his first golf major, is a +700 favorite to claim an Olympic gold medal first.
The AP also had an interesting pick for bronze: Matt Kuchar. The 38-year-old American has finished in the top 10 in nine of his 21 events this season, and is currently No. 18 in the FedEx Cup standings. He’s currently priced at +1,600 to go two spots higher and win the gold.
United Press International
|Bubba Watson||Henrik Stenson||Sergio Garcia|
Last but not least, the United Press International’a Alex Butler also came up with similar names to win the three medals. He too went with Watson to win gold. He considers the two-time Masters champion one of the top players in the diminished golf tournament field despite his recent lack of form.
The oddsmakers, though, see the American as a notch below the very top contenders. Watson is +1,400 to win in Brazil, only the fifth-best odds in the field.
And like USA Today, Butler had Henrik Stenson getting silver. The 40-year-old Swede’s confidence has to be sky-high at the moment. After finally claiming his first-ever major at the British Open, Stenson also finished in the top 10 (T7 to be exact) of the PGA Championship.
Butler also notes that Garcia and Harrington will be the other main contenders for medals, but he has the Spaniard Garcia to eventually take the bronze.
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