MANY of the 60 golfers taking part in the Olympics don’t get a chance to represent their countries – and even the likes of the Ryder Cup is for continents.
Golf has not been a part of the Olympics since 1904, quite rightly in my opinion, but now it is those taking part will be right up for it. Quite a few of the top golfers have resisted the temptation to compete for one reason or another but even without the world’s top four it still will be an intriguing competition.
The Campo Olimpico de Golf has no trees and no rough but it has sand … and plenty of it. As there is no rough if you are off line from the tee the ball will go straight into the “native areas’”.
Also with the wind coming off the Atlantic Ocean it will be like a links course or as designer Gil Hanse says similar to the Sandbelt courses outside Melbourne.
With that in mind Sergio Garcia has to be a serious contender for the gold medal. He plays well on links courses and winning here would be a great boost for the Spaniard. Also with five par 3s on the course this could suit Sergio who is T3 in par-three scoring average and fourth in par-three birdie or better.
One man who is in great form is Patrick Reed. He finished 10th at the Scottish Open, 12th at The Open, 13th at the USPGA and 11th last week at the Travelers. He plays with his heart on his sleeve as shown at the last Ryder Cup and you can be sure he’ll want to succeed not just for himself but also for the USA. With a new putting guru, Dave Stockton, his play on the greens has improved and he is worth a bet.
I wasn’t going to have a third bet but the first name I thought of for here was Emiliano Grillo. The young Argentine is having a good first season on the PGA Tour and a small each-way wager is in order.
Mr Fixit says: “I’m backing Grillo as well as Scott Hend (80-1) who has experience of the Sandbelt courses and plays well all over the world. I’m adding Thongchai Jaidee (50-1) who likes this type of course.
“Anyone doing each-way bets be aware this is a competition for gold, silver and bronze medals. As such some bookies are offering three places each way instead of the usual four, five or even six so check before you place your bet.
“If there are any ties for medal places there will be a three-hole play-off.”