With the 2016 Olympic Games seeing the reintroduction of golf for the first time after a one hundred and twelve year absence, the news that some of the sports biggest names will not be taking part has come as a blow to many within the game. Former major winners in the form of Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen and Vijay Singh have all recently confirmed their withdrawal from the competition, with some questioning the integrity of the event. It had been hoped that the inclusion of golf within the Olympics would bring some much needed attention onto the sport. However, with just a matter of months until Rio, it is certainly not the best start for preparations.
2013 Masters Winner Scott has pointed to scheduling issues as the reason for his lack of participation, with the Australian instead choosing to focus on preparations for the summers US Open, Open Championships and USPGA Championship. However, having previously questioned the significance of such an event by calling Olympic golf an “exhibition”, some within the game are less than happy about his decision. Scott had been due to team up with countryman and world number one Jason Day in what looked like an incredibly strong duo. Scott is seen as the 20/1 outsider to achieve US Open glory in Pennsylvania this June.
Elsewhere, British Open champion Oosthuizen has withdrawn due to family reasons, while three time major winner Singh has bizarrely blamed the threat of the Zika virus for his absence. However, with the former world number one now sitting at a lowly two hundred and fifteen, it is perhaps not a huge loss for the game.
One man who will certainly be keen to get back on the course is Jordan Spieth. The American blew a five stroke lead on the final day of the recent Masters at Augusta to eventually finish in a tie for second place. However, having failed to finish outside the top four of any major event for the past year, the twenty two year old is the 7/1 second favourite with Coral to successfully defend his title. It has been a quiet time for rival Rory McIlroy so far in 2016, however why not tee off with Coral and back the Northern Irishman at odds of 13/2.
Golf betting has certainly been hard to predict of late. Englishman Danny Willett claimed the prestigious green jacket at Augusta recently after a sublime final round, demonstrating just how unpredictable the sport can be. The Masters champ is 28/1 to repeat the trick in the upcoming US open.
Tags: 2016 Summer Olympics, Brazil, Brazil Golf, Charl Schwartzel, Gary Player, George Coetzee, Golf, GolfUniverse, International Golf Federation, Jaco van Zyl, Louis Oosthuizen, PGA Tour, Rio de Janeiro, Rory McIlroy, The Open Championship, Ty Votaw