Pete’s Picks: DraftKings Men’s Olympic Golf Tournament
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Pete’s Picks: DraftKings Men’s Olympic Golf Tournament



The second edition of the Men’s Olympic Golf Tournament gets underway in Tokyo this week. The American side will be hard to beat, even with Patrick Reed being added to the team at the last minute.

The South Korean team of Sungjae Im and Si Woo Kim have the most to play for, as they would each avoid required military service if they win a medal, but the most motivation also equals the most pressure.

Hideki Matsuyama will look to follow up his Masters win with a gold medal in his home country, and the podium will feature all new players, as Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, and Matt Kuchar are not in the field this week.

DraftKings divides players into tiers for users to pick from. The tiers are tournament favorite, bomber, ball striker, short gamer, birdie maker, long shot.

Tournament Favorite

Players:

Collin Morikawa

Xander Schauffele

Hideki Matsuyama

The pick: Collin Morikawa

With Jon Rahm forced to withdraw after testing positive for COVID, the newly crowned Champion Golfer of the Year is the clear favorite this week. Morikawa’s iron play will put him in contention on any golf course in the world, but it looks like he may have an even bigger advantage this week, as the greens at Kasumigaseki Country Club require very precise carries on approach shots. Morikawa has gained 1.42 strokes per round on the field since the start of the 2021 calendar year, head and shoulders above everyone else on Tour.

Bomber

Players:

Viktor Hovland

Justin Thomas

Rory Mcilroy

Patrick Reed

The pick: Justin Thomas

Thomas has had a relatively disappointing season thus far—he has yet to post a top-10 finish since winning The Players Championship in March—but playing for his country seems to bring out the best in Thomas. The fourth ranked player in the world has a 10-3-2 record in Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups. He should be one of the more motivated players in the field with his less than stellar major record this season and should be poised to reintroduce himself as one of the best players in the world.

Ball Striker

Players:

Joaquin Niemann

Paul Casey

Abraham Ancer

Corey Connors

Shane Lowry

Tommy Fleetwood

The pick: Corey Connors

Connors has put together a solid season so far, with eight top-10s and 16 top-25s in 25 events this year. He’s been playing well of late—Connors was in contention thru 54 holes at The Open before fading on Sunday—and is an absolute flusher. I feel like I pick Connors every week, but he’s it’s just a matter of time before he puts it all together. Why not this week?

Short Gamer

Players:

Cameron Smith

Sungjae Im

Christian Bezuidenhout

Marc Leishman

Si Woo Kim

Mackenzie Hughes

The pick: Si Woo Kim

No one in the field will be more motivated than Kim and Sungjae Im, who each skipped The Open Championship to prepare for the Olympic competition this week. Both players would earn an exemption from South Korea’s military service requirement if they win a medal this week. Kim won earlier this year at The American Express and often puts up plenty of birdies, which will be paramount with everyone in the field being guaranteed four rounds.

Birdie Maker

Players:

Guido Migliozzi

Garrick Higgo

Thomas Pieters

Antoine Rozner

Jhonattan Vegas

Sebastian Munoz

Alex Noren

The pick: Guido Migliozzi

Migliozzi missed the cut at The Open, but he’s been hot the last few weeks with four top-15 finishes in his five most recent starts before The Open, including a T4 finish at the US Open at Torrey Pines. He’s found himself on the first page of European Tour leaderboards a lot recently and that success is beginning to carry over to the PGA Tour.

Longshot

Players:

Carlos Ortiz

Thomas Detry

Ryan Fox

Rasmus Hojgaard

Jazz Janewattananond

CT Pan

Rikuya Hoshino

The pick: Thomas Detry

Detry is coming off a missed cut at The Open, but he has two runner-up finishes in his last five starts on the European Tour. Detry is 75th in the OWGR and has posted two top-20 finishes on the PGA Tour this year. The long shots feel quite a bit longer this week, but Detry is one of the best picks of the bunch.

About the author

Peter Santo

Peter Santo

Peter Santo is a golf writer and a graduate of Emerson College. He previously covered all sports for The Boston Globe, Associated Press, and The Washington Times.

When not writing about or playing golf, he can often be found listening to or creating country music.

He can be reached by email at petersanto1129@gmail.com

Follow him on Twitter @_PeterSanto