Ryder Cup Betting Tips

Two years on from glitz and glamour at Gleneagles , the very best from Europe and USA will lock horns once again in the 41st edition of the Ryder Cup. September 30 to October 2 will bring three days of high drama and pressure like no other as captains Darren Clarke and Davis Love III try to guide their respective teams to golfing greatness.

Ahead of one of the world’s greatest sporting events, Betsafe have teamed up with Golf365 to bring you an in-depth guide as Team Europe head for US soil searching for an unprecedented fourth consecutive victory.

Ryder Cup History

Since 1979 there have 18 duels between Team USA and Team Europe, and the latter have won 10, lost seven and tied one contest overall – a now very respectable record due to Europe’s domination since the turn of the century. Europe have won six out of the last seven tournaments, but it is the USA that have the slight edge when the home advantage is in their favour and that is reflected in the latest outright odds.

In the nine events across the pond, the Americans have won five and lost four, a record which would have read even better had a freak change in momentum not occurred in the ‘Miracle at Medinah’ four years ago. 

The hosts are 6/11 with Betsafe to regain the Ryder Cup, with the tie available at 11/1 and Europe currently trading as the outsiders at 2/1.

One other quirky little stat which may come into your thinking is that USA and Europe have been trading wins in the United States all the way back to 1983. 

The trend is now eight tournaments strong and if it was to continue in Minnesota this year then the US will be the Ryder Cup winners for the eighth time in its current guise.

The Course

Located in Minnesota, Hazeltine is no stranger to host major golfing events and will become only the second golf club in the US to have hosted every premier championship offered by the USGA and PGA of America.

The course has been home to the US Open twice and the PGA Championship on two occasions as well. After being announced as hosts in 2002, officials have had plenty of time to prepare for the Ryder Cup. 

The course is generally very hilly and when you also take into consideration the narrow fairways and tight greens, everyone is going to have to bring their ‘A’ game to Minnesota or they will be found out very quickly. 

If the golfers did not have enough to think about already, the fact that nine of the holes have water hazards to negotiate will ensure their brains will be working in overdrive over the three days.

Those perhaps used to playing at Hazeltine will also have some initial readjusting to do. 

What are usually holes 14-18 have been moved to form the second half of the front nine and holes 5-9 will become the scene where champions are made as they form the final part of the back nine. 

The slight alterations means that the penultimate hole could become the most crucial. Described as “one of the hardest par fours ever” with the creek running down the left and the unforgiving rough lurking on the right, those 402 yards could feel very long especially when the green slopes down into the lake, too.

14.5 is the magic number for the US to regain the Ryder Cup, while 14 points would be enough for the defending European champions to retain the trophy. 

Ryder Cup Format

Day 1 (Friday) – 4 foursome (alternate shot) matches and 4 fourball (better ball) matches

Day 2 (Saturday) – 4 foursome matches and 4 fourball matches

Day 3 (Sunday) – 12 singles matches 

European Ryder Cup Team

The Europeans will be lead by 2011 Open champion Darren Clarke and he has a strong support network of vice-captains in three-time Ryder Cup winner Thomas Bjorn, two-time major champion Padraig Harrington and 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie. Cult hero Ian Poulter was also named as a vice-captain after injury ruled him out of the contest and the latest addition in July was the incredibly experienced Sam Torrance, who has played in eight Ryder Cups and been on the winning side on four occasions.

The know-how and wisdom they have all acquired will be absolutely invaluable considering that half of the 12-man team are Ryder Cup rookies: Danny Willett, Chris Wood, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Andy Sullivan, Matthew Fitzpatrick and captain’s pick Thomas Pieters. 

There may be a Masters champion and a BMW PGA Championship winner amongst that list but the Ryder Cup brings a whole new set of challenges and obstacles to overcome over the three days.

Re-balancing the squad are six seasoned professionals in the form of Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose and Martin Kaymer (all playing in their fourth Ryder Cup) while Sergio Garcia (seven previous Ryder Cups) and Lee Westwood (nine previous Ryder Cups) are the wise, old veterans. 

The two stand-outs from a betting perspective have to be Garcia and Rose, who are both worth following especially in the singles matches on the Sunday.

Garcia has won 18 of his 32 Ryder Cup matches with five halved matches, bringing his winning percentage to an impressive 64%; whereas Rose, fresh from winning gold in Rio for Team GB, has an extraordinary win ratio of 71% with nine wins, three defeats and two halved games in 14 matches.

USA Ryder Cup Team

Team USA will be lead by none other than Davis Love III, who becomes just the second American in history to get a second chance at captaining the side after losing their first Ryder Cup contest.

Love was in charge of the US team that succumbed to the ‘Miracle of Medinah’ in 2012 and he will be absolutely determined to atone for the heart-breaking defeat and ensure that there will be no heroics from the Europeans once again. 

He can also tap into a rich source of information via his star-studded vice-captain panel. On hand to offer their support are 1996 Open champion Tom Lehman, the vastly-experienced Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk, who has played in nine Ryder Cups over his illustrious career. Still bringing the star appeal is the one and only Tiger Woods. 

The 14-time major champion may be having his own personal battle with injuries but his influence will be invaluable over the course of the weekend.

Love has left it much later than his counterpart to name his captain’s picks, yet two-thirds of his squad is set in stone following The Barclays tournament. Home advantage was mentioned earlier as to why USA were the favourites, but what has also been factored in as well is the superiority in experience. 

At the time of writing, Brooks Koepka is the only rookie and in Phil Mickelson, they have a legend who is taking part in his 11th Ryder Cup.

Two-time major champion Jordan Spieth will be getting a lot of attention, but the one to watch out for is Patrick Reed, who excelled in his first Ryder Cup two years ago with three wins and a halved match. A possible weak-spot to keep an eye on, too, is Brandt Snedeker. His mental strength has been called into question in the past and with just a 33% win ratio in the Ryder Cup, he could be the first to crack under any building pressure. 

About Mark Scott

Mark Scott is a contributor for Golf365, which has all the latest from tour events plus news, features and betting tips.