In just a few days the world’s best golfers will compete at the Olympics for the first time since 1904. By the end of the weekend, there will be a new Olympic gold medalist in men’s golf for the first time since Canadian George Lyon claimed the title at Glen Echo Country Club 112 years ago. The question is, who will it be? Though some players have decided to stay home, the field competing in Rio will be one of the strongest of the year. That is why today we make our bets on the top-four most likely to find on the podium and what ball they’ll be using in their quest for gold.
With four top-10 finishes and an Open Championship under his belt in 2016, the Swede is a heavy favorite heading into Rio. Stenson will put his faith in the Titleist Pro V1 as he attempts to navigate the Gil Hanse design. With native grass and sand areas taking the place of rough, staying in the fairway will be crucial to finding the podium on Sunday. The soft feel and increased control provided by the Pro V1’s compression ZG process core and 352 dimples will serve the major winner well as he tries to avoid the native grass as well as the course’s 79 bunkers.
Though Garcia has yet to claim his first major title, he looks to have a strong chance of bringing a medal back home to Spain. His ball of choice, the TaylorMade Tour Preferred X, will play a big part in the Spaniard’s performance. The course’s links-style inspiration means players will be exposed to the elements and can expect dry and windy conditions. The Tour Preferred X’s Seemless LDP® 322 Dimple Pattern helps to promote a penetrating ball flight which will allow Sergio to get more distance into the wind.
After seven top-10 finishes this season, the odds-on-favorite to bring gold back to the United States is Rickie Fowler. The Oklahoma State Cowboy will be relying on the Titleist Pro V1x to help him in any late-round shootouts. The Pro V1x’s four-piece construction provides the ball with the perfect combination of distance and control to tackle both the 303-yard par-4 16th, as well as the 571-yard par-5 finishing hole. This combined with the ball’s 328 tetrahedral dimples will provide the spin necessary for Fowler to go pin seeking on the 133-yard par-3 17th. Don’t be surprised if you see this player finish his round birdie, birdie, eagle.
Kuchar has been one of the most consistent players in golf over the past decade and is poised to breakthrough with a big win in 2016, a year that has seen him reach the top-10 in nine different events. The always steady veteran relies on the Bridgestone B330S on the course, citing its performance in the wind as one of the key reasons why he tees it up each week. The latest version of the ball features a firmer TOURcore designed to increase ball speed for longer distance and the SlipRes cover produces maximum greenside performance, higher friction for more spin from the rough and less spin off the driver. Keep an eye on “Kuch” to climb the leaderboard in Rio.