Will Europe’s Stars Shine In Paris Or Will It Be The Stars And Stripes Flying High?

This weekend, the Ryder Cup gets underway at Le Golf National on the outskirts of Paris. Team USA come into the event as the current holders of the trophy after a 17-11 victory over Team Europe at Hazeltine back in 2016. Can they become the first US team to win on European soil since 1993 in Paris this week?

With the Ryder Cup being just a two-yearly event, it does mean that when it comes around, it does attract masses of interest from the betting public and the 2018 event is likely to be no different. If you fancy a flutter, then why not check out bet365 Sports wide selection of markets available for the tournament. You can sign up today with the current bet365 Sports New Player Bonus to get you started.

After their poor display at the 2014 Ryder Cup, Team USA reviewed their approach to the Ryder Cup, with Phil Mickelson being one of the most vocal critics. The result of that process was a superb victory on home soil last time out, ending a run of three successive Ryder Cup wins for Team Europe.

Now this very strong and powerful US team, perhaps even stronger than the team that won the tournament when it was last hosted, have headed to France to take on the challenge of defeating a Team Europe side that have not lost a Ryder Cup on home soil since 1993.

It promises to be an exciting three days of golf which begins on Friday 28th September, following the opening ceremony on the Thursday evening, during which the selections for each of the pairs in the following mornings Foursomes will be announced.

Let’s learn a little more about the Ryder Cup.

Ryder Cup Factfile

  • The tournament began in 1927 and was initially a competition between the United States and Great Britain. Soon that became GB and Northern Ireland, then eventually Great Britain and Ireland.
  • By 1977, the tournament was so one-sided in the United States favour, that the Great Britain and Ireland team was expanded to include all of mainland Europe.
  • Europe’s first win in the Ryder Cup as a team came in 1985 at the Belfry.
  • Since Europe’s first win the team has won 10 of the next 16 Ryder Cups, with the United States winning five and one match being drawn.
  • Team USA has not been victorious on European soil since their 1993 victory at the Belfry.
  • The 2018 Ryder Cup will be the first time that the tournament has been held in France.
  • The most selected player in Ryder Cup history is the US star Phil Mickelson who has represented his country in the tournament on 12 different occasions (including this year).
  • The most points won in the tournament by a single player is 25, which was achieved by GB & Ireland and Team Europe player Nick Faldo
  • The most points won by a player in Ryder Cup singles matches is seven and this has been achieved by five players. Colin Montgomerie (6 wins, 2 draws), Billy Casper and Lee Trevino (6 wins, 2 draws, 2 defeats), Arnold Palmer (6 wins 2 draws and 3 defeats) and Neil Coles (5 wins, four draws and six defeats). Of the record points holders, only Colin Montgomerie went undefeated in Ryder Cup singles play.
  • Berhard Langer holds the record for most points won in foursomes play with 11.5 points.
  • Ian Woosnam and Jose Maria Olazabal share the record for most fourball points won with 10.5 each.
  • In terms of pairing Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal are the Ryder Cup’s most prolific scoring partnership having won 12 points from 15 matches played together.
  • The only player to win all five possible points available by winning all of their games in all five sessions of a modern Ryder Cup is American Larry Nelson who achieved the feat in 1979.

Ryder Cup Format

  • Friday 28th September – AM – 4x Foursomes, PM – 4x Fourballs
  • Saturday 29th September – AM – 4x Foursome, PM – 4x Fourballs
  • Sunday 30th September – PM – 12x Singles Games

All matches are 18-hole match play and will end when it is impossible for one of the players to draw or win given the number of holes remaining on the course.  The first team to reach 14.5 points will win the Ryder Cup, though to retain the cup, Team USA only need to land 14 points as they are the current holders of the trophy.

Team U.S.A

Jim Furyk’s team saw eight players qualify for the team, with the captain adding four of his personal selections to make up the following 12-man roster. Appearances shown do not include Ryder Cup 2018.

  • Brooks Koepka – 1 Appearance
  • Dustin Johnson – 3 Appearances
  • Justin Thomas – 0 Appearances
  • Patrick Reed – 2 Appearances
  • Bubba Watson – 3 Appearances
  • Jordan Spieth – 2 Appearances
  • Rickie Fowler – 3 Appearances
  • Webb Simpson – 2 Appearances
  • Bryson DeChambeau (Captain’s Pick) – 0 Appearances
  • Phil Mickelson (Captain’s Pick) – 11 Appearances
  • Tiger Woods (Captain’s Pick) – 7 Appearances
  • Tony Finau (Captain’s Pick) – 0 Appearances

Furyk’s four Vice Captains for the Ryder Cup 2018 are:

  • David Duval
  • Steve Stricker
  • Zach Johnson
  • Matt Kuchar
  • Davis Love III

Tiger Woods had initially been selected as a vice captain by Furyk, but his performances this season saw him earn a captain’s pick to play on the team instead.

Many experts feel that this is one of the strongest, if not THE strongest Team USA dozen to head to Europe to defend the Ryder Cup and they are, at the time of writing, the bookmakers favourites to win the event.

Team Europe

Thomas Bjorn’s 12-man European team also consists of eight qualifiers from their performances on tour this season, plus four captain’s picks.

  • Francesco Molinari (Italy) – 2 Appearances
  • Justin Rose (England) – 4 Appearances
  • Tyrell Hatton (England) – 0 Appearances
  • Tommy Fleetwood (England) – 0 Appearances
  • Jon Rahm (Spain) – 0 Appearances
  • Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) – 4 Appearances
  • Alex Noren (Sweden) – 0 Appearances
  • Thorbjorn Olesen (Denmark) – 0 Appearances
  • Paul Casey (England) – (Captain’s Pick) – 3 Appearances
  • Sergio Garcia (Spain) – (Captain’s Pick) – 8 Appearances
  • Ian Poulter (England) – (Captain’s Pick) – 5 Appearances
  • Henrik Stenson (Sweden) – (Captain’s Pick) – 4 Appearances

Bjorn’s four vice captains for the tournament also pack plenty of Ryder Cup experience:

  • Luke Donald (England)
  • Padraig Harrington (Ireland)
  • Lee Westwood (England)
  • Graeme McDowell (Northern Ireland)
  • Robert Karlsson (Sweden)

Although the underdogs for the tournament, it is fair to say that this European team certainly looks stronger on paper than the team that were soundly beaten at Hazeltine last time out. Bjorn has selected four captain’s picks rich in Ryder Cup experience to add to a team that already has two former World Number 1 golfers as well as a high number of very talented players set to make their Ryder Cup debut.

Who will win the Ryder Cup?

My Pick – Team USA – 5/6 at bet365 Sport

Team Europe have a dominant record on home soil and it is hard to back against that, but given the relative strengths of the two teams, I think that it will be the Americans who will be celebrating a rare victory in Europe come Sunday.

The strength of the American team is such that it is hard to see how Europe, especially with five Ryder Cup Rookies in the team, can overcome that gulf in class, especially in the singles matches on Sunday when the US team tend to dominate. I fear that even if Team Europe take a slight lead into Sunday, that the US team will overcome that in the singles games to take a narrow win.

As a secondary bet, if you were going to bet on the Correct Score for the Ryder Cup, then my choice would be a 15.5 – 12.5 win to the United States team, which is an 11/1 shot with bet365 Sport at the time of writing.

*All odds in this article are correct as of 11.45pm GMT on Tuesday 25th September 2018