Punch Shot: Who would be the three medalists on the males’s Olympic occasion?
The Olympic Males’s Competitors will get underway Thursday at Kasumigaseki Nation Membership exterior of Tokyo, Japan.
Who will stand on the rostrum? Who will simply miss the medal ceremony? GolfChannel.com writers weigh with their predictions.
Who wins gold?
REX HOGGARD: Paul Casey. There was little in Justin Rose’s run-up to the 2016 Video games to counsel the Englishman was on the cusp of a gold-medal profitable efficiency, however although he lacked outcomes, he had loads of ardour. Casey appears to have stepped in for Rose in Tokyo after making the Olympics his singular focus this yr.
RYAN LAVNER: Viktor Hovland. In two quick years he has proved his sport can journey, he’s embracing the Olympic expertise, and he enters the Video games with a ton of confidence having a win (BMW Worldwide) and T-12 (Open) in his previous two begins.
BRENTLEY ROMINE: Hideki Matsuyama. We have not seen him in weeks due to his COVID-19 prognosis, however he is right here and able to win Gold for the host nation. With the course enjoying smooth, that performs into a number of these gamers’ video games, however particularly Matsuyama. He additionally has some prior expertise on this structure, too, although that was again in his beginner days.
Who wins silver?
HOGGARD: Collin Morikawa. Close to-misses aren’t actually a normal that skilled golfers deal with, however on the Olympics, the place ending within the prime three is a aim unto itself, consistency is rewarded and nobody on this week’s discipline has been extra constant than Morikawa this season. He has eight top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour to associate with these two victories.
LAVNER: Collin Morikawa. He appears refreshed and prepared, and if his putter is even remotely as sizzling because it was at Royal St. George’s, this will probably be one other stellar debut.
ROMINE: Thomas Detry. The Belgian golfer and former Illinois standout has two runner-up finishes in every of the previous two seasons on the European Tour. A runner-up, aka silver medal, can be becoming this week.
Who wins bronze?
HOGGARD: Abraham Ancer. One of many comparisons being made this week is that Kasumigaseki Nation Membership reminds gamers of Quail Hole Membership, which hosts the Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship. Ancer completed runner-up this yr at Quail Hole and is without doubt one of the few gamers staying within the Athlete’s Village and taking full benefit of the Olympic expertise.
LAVNER: Paul Casey. One of many sport’s most full gamers, he arrives in stable kind and has been arguably probably the most energized by the Olympics, realizing that at 44 it’s doubtless his final likelihood to signify Nice Britain.
ROMINE: Collin Morikawa. Nobody is enjoying higher golf proper now, and if his putter stays sizzling, will probably be laborious to maintain Morikawa off the rostrum.
Who simply misses the rostrum?
HOGGARD: Xander Schauffele. Simply behind Morikawa within the consistency division is his American teammate (seven top-10s this season), and there’s a sentimental component to this week’s Video games for Schauffele, whose grandparents are from Japan. He could not attain the rostrum, however it’s going to nonetheless be a particular week for Schauffele.
LAVNER: Xander Schauffele. It’s a de-facto residence sport for Schauffele, whose household historical past might add a dose of strain to the proceedings. Given his earlier shut calls, it’ll be attention-grabbing to see how he handles that stage. Possibly it’ll present him the expertise he must get excessive within the majors.
ROMINE: Sungjae Im. Everybody will doubtless be rooting for Im and fellow South Korean Si Woo Kim to win medals and keep away from their necessary army service, however the odds are actually towards them – Im is 25/1 and Kim 50/1. I anticipate Im to make issues attention-grabbing, however in the end I feel he falls simply quick.
Who will make a reputation for himself?
HOGGARD: Adrian Meronk. It appears unlikely Meronk will win a medal, however he’ll make historical past in Japan nonetheless. Earlier this summer time, the 28-year-old turned the primary participant from Poland to play in a significant championship on the U.S. Open, and this week he turns into the primary golfer from his nation to compete within the Olympics.
LAVNER: Mito Pereira. Overshadowed by fellow countryman Joaquin Niemann for the previous few years (and for good purpose), the Chilean is coming into his personal and has loved a robust three-month run. After incomes an prompt promotion to the PGA Tour, he has began to really feel at residence on the massive Tour, with back-to-back top-6s. On the grandest stage in sports activities, it is time to be taught extra about him.
ROMINE: Carl Yuan. Even when he would not come near the medal stand, the Chinese language golfer out of the College of Washington will doubtless be talked about all through the event. He hasn’t performed on the Korn Ferry Tour for the reason that Wichita Open in late June, and he completed that week ranked No. 27 on the tour’s factors record. Nevertheless, he is since missed the final 4 KFT occasions – and slipped to No. 31 – to be able to return to China for centralized Olympic coaching. With simply two extra regular-season occasions left on the KFT schedule, “I most likely should miss the remainder of the season,” Yuan stated earlier this week. In fact, an Olympic medal would assist ease the sting.