2021 Tokyo Olympics Men’s Golf Final Round Best Bets: Back Hideki Matsuyama to Win Gold Medal
KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Hideki Matsuyama
- Xander Schauffele and Hideki Matsuyama enter the final round of the Olympics atop the leaderboard.
- The American leads the reigning Masters champion by one shot in Tokyo.
- Chris Murphy breaks down his best bets for the final day at Kasumigaseki Country Club.
The drama is building around Men’s Golf at the Tokyo Olympics as the international version of Moving Day took place on Friday night. Many of the big names scurried into position to be in contention for the final round on Saturday, which will end with a medal ceremony and the coveted gold medal to this year’s champion.
Xander Schauffele was the leader through 36 holes, but he immediately had issues to start his round. He seemed to be searching for his swing, especially off the tee, through the first half of his round. Despite those issues and through the benefit of a hot putter, he was able to hold the round together while he worked to find his groove. Xander would find some things down the back stretch, with three birdies on the back nine including one at the difficult 18th to keep his solo lead going into the final round.
Many players would jockey for position throughout the third round with hometown hero, Hideki Matsuyama, working his way into second place, just one shot back of Xander. Paul Casey is another shot back after a 5-under round of 66 on Friday to get to 12-under, and join them in the final threesome.
Rory McIlroy leads the pack of players at 11-under, and three shots back of the lead. The others, Sebastian Munoz, Mito Pereira, and first-round leader Sepp Straka, are some of the lesser known names looking to break through and get themselves on the podium after the final round.
Saturday night’s final round will be a great event for Olympic Golf, as it continues the effort to build it’s prestige for year’s to come. The natural storyline is that of recent Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama looking to capture gold in his home country, but there are many others that would also love the honor of hearing their national anthem from atop the podium. Even beyond gold, there are sixteen golfers within four strokes of a medal.
Hideki Matsuyama +300 to Win Gold (BetMGM)
I’m buying into the storyline for the final round at Kasumigaseki Country Club as the local hero looks to capture gold for his country and raise his status to the levels of folklore. Ever since a sluggish opening round, Hideki has been dialed in with his game as he finished off a 64 in the second round the morning before teeing off to post a 4-under 67 in Round 3.
Matsuyama knows his way around this course, and it has shown over the past few days as he started to find his game following an extended break from tournament play after he tested positive for COVID. He has just one bogey in his last 36 holes and has the added benefit of playing with a couple of guys that aren’t exactly known for closing out wins.
My prediction is that we see Hideki holding the gold for the next four years, and that alongside his green jacket will make it a year to remember for Japanese superstar.
Shane Lowry to Medal +500 (FanDuel)
The best player in the field in strokes gained approach for the week is currently not in position to get a medal as Shane Lowry has gained more than seven strokes with his irons through three rounds. He has gained at least one stroke on the field with his approach in each round this week, and more than two in each of the last two rounds.
The Irishman is clearly in form with his game, and really got hit with a bad break when his tee shot got stuck in a tree on the back nine of his third round. If he can avoid that bad luck down the stretch of his final round and keep the form he’s shown this week, Lowry will have a great chance to erase the two shot deficit between him and the podium.
Mackenzie Hughes Top-10 Finish +500 (BetMGM)
It’s hard to know how the players will fair that are further down the leaderboard as there really is nothing but pride on the line for anyone outside of the top 3. Mackenzie Hughes is someone that has shown flashes of form throughout the week, and he finally go the best club in his bag to cooperate in the third round as he gained more than a stroke on the field putting.
Hughes’ 6-under third round came after he said in the post round he would be looking to be aggressive to try to move into medal contention. He was able to get a low score put together on Moving Day and I am sure he will take the same mindset into the final round.
He’s only three shots outside of the top 10, and if he can find similar results on Saturday night, he can pay off some decent value especially on BetMGM where they pay placement position ties in full.