Located a few of Bubba's drives away from the Olympics Village is the Gil Hanse Olympic Golf course which will host the first Olympic golf tournament in over a century. Hanse has had his hands in a number of designs down the years with the most important of those being the TPC at Boston and Doral. The course itself is a wide open layout that won't be too challenging off the tee. Waste like bunkering awaits errand drives but the course isn't very long and I expect very low scores over the four days. Elements of Desert golf both in the States and in Dubai may be an element to look towards as that form may translate onto the Olympic course. The course in Bahamas where they played the Hero World Challenge late last year I believe may prove to have a direct correlation to this course.
The market is headed by Stenson and Garcia. Stenson competed for a long way in the PGA two weeks ago before faltering during the final round while Garcia had a stinking few days there. I am quite surprised at how short these two are in the market considering the strength towards the top. Rose, Fowler, Bubba, Reed, Kaymer and Kuchar all sit in behind these two and despite some very good of late I couldn't back either of the two favs around the 11/2 and 8/1 mark.
Patrick Reed has shown a fair amount of form of late and I believe has all the tools to take home Olympic Golf. He has been in solid shape lately, but the majors have eluded him in 2016 once more and this Olympic event has come at the right time for him. He will regard this is a big achievement and will be trying. He has won on another Hanse design at Doral and is capable of very low scores as we have seen plenty of times before. I like the result in the Bahamas where he finished 2nd to Bubba on 22 under par. He has desert form in the States also and ticks all the boxes whilst in very decent form.
Another with a plethora of form in Desert conditions is Bubba Watson. This isn't exactly desert golf in Rio but it is not far away. Bubba loves to attack and if he can get his putter warmed up at all he should prove one of the tougher ones to beat. He loves the desert golf in Arizona and in Bahamas he romped away with the Hero Challenge at 25 under par. He has finished second three times at the redesigned Doral layout by Hanse. The wind doesn't seem to be materialising as first thought so conditions should suit the swash buckling yank. He is as patriotic as they come and will be trying every ounce for a medal to sit beside his two green jackets. To be double the price of Sergio around a track which should suit is simply scandalous. He played fair enough tee to green last week but failed to get the putter hot. Hopefully that changes this week.
The fella who finished 3rd behind Watson and Reed in Bahamas will be my saver pick this week. Rickie Fowler is far from setting the world alight right now but shows glimpses of his early season form every now and then. I do believe this will be very similar to desert golf in the States and he loves that type of golf. A win at the Hanse design in Boston can be seen as a positive and I believe these group of Americans who have bonded whilst in Rio will prove a formidable outfit to beat. Given Fowler's lacklustre form of late he will be saver for me. I really like the look of this event as a betting heat and I'm a shade annoyed I like the look of three golfers who are all similar priced and towards the top of the market. Frustrating nonetheless but I do look at Reed and Bubba as the best two betting propositions I've seen in a right few weeks. Many bookies differ in opinion with each-way terms ranging from 1/3 1-3 to 1/4 1-5. It's up to you the punter which you'd rather take, you may get a shade more value either way the cookie crumbles. We'll wait and see.