After being postponed for a year thanks to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, golf fans will welcome the 43rd-edition of the Ryder Cup between Europe and the USA at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. The five-session tournament tees off on Friday, Sept. 24th with foursomes in an alternate-shot format and wraps up two days later with the singles sessions while the four-balls format is played in between.
The American team is captained by Steve Stricker and they’ll be attempting to avenge their loss to the Europeans in Paris, France three years ago. However, that means they’ll need to outplay their visitors from across the pond who will be skippered by Padraig Harrington, a three-time major winner.
The American team consists of Collin Morikawa, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay, Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Jordan Spieth, Harris English, Daniel Berger and Scottie Scheffler. Schauffele just happened to win the Olympic golf medal in men’s golf in Tokyo, Japan this summer by a single stroke and will be making his Ryder Cup debut.
The European contingent features Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Bernd Wiesberger, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Paul Casey, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Lee Westwood, Shane Lowry, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter. Rahm enters the event as the world’s top-ranked male golfer but eight of the current top-10 ranked players are American.
The American team may once again appear stronger on paper with an average world ranking of nine compared to the European’s average of 30, but the Ryder Cup will be decided on the course. Winning the gold trophy certainly hasn’t come easy for the Americans as they’ve hoisted it just twice in the past 20 years, in 2008 and 2016, both times on US soil.
It looks like a battle between experience and youth as the hosts will be using six Ryder Cup rookies while the Europeans have tournament veterans in Westwood, McIlroy, Garcia and Poulter. In fact, Garcia has claimed the most points in Ryder Cup history over the years with 25.5.
The average age of the American squad is 29.1 while the European’s average 34.6. In addition, the 48-year-old Westwood will equal a European milestone by competing in his 11th Ryder Cup
When it comes to the last three Ryder Cup tournaments, Europe claimed the 2018 title by seven points and by five points in 2014 while the Americans took it in 2016 by six points. The last close event came in 2012 when the Europeans were victors by just one point after trailing 10-6 on the final day. However, in the overall Ryder Cup standings since it began in 1927, the USA leads the series 26-14-2 but Europe has won nine of the last 12 events.
Whistling Straits is a 7,390-yard, par-71 course on the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan. It hosted the PGA Championship in 2004, 2010, and 2015 as well as the 2007 U.S. Senior Open. The last time a major was played there was the PGA Championship in 2015 which was five Americans golfers place in the top 20 compared to just one European.
The Ryder Cup is built on tradition and patriotism as it sees golfers representing their homelands instead of playing for the the almighty dollar… and that’s why it’s so hard to predict the winner.
The American team enters the tournament as favorites with the bet 365 bookmakers at -200 while the European side is currently listed as the underdogs again at +162.
There are several other Ryder Cup wagers to be made at bet365 for the four team sessions and one individual session. These include bets such as the individual leading scorer, the day winner, top golfer by category, top team points scorer, the top American or European rookie, the top American or European wildcard, the first and last out in singles, the correct score and holes in one etc.