On Friday, the 41st Ryder Cup event takes place at Hazeltine National G.C., with the United States desperate to wrestle the trophy from a European side who have won the last three times.
The European team have a great recent record in the Ryder Cup, winning eight of the last ten times the event has been held, as they look to make it an unprecedented four in a row.
The United States side however, look particularly strong, with Dustin Johnson arguably the most in-form of the twelve members and one of two, 2016 Major winners, along with Jimmy Walker. Captain, Davis Love III has gone for an experienced line-up with just two rookies in the team, including Ryan Moore as his wildcard pick.
Europe captain, Darren Clarke has surprisingly brought in six debutants for Hazeltine including 2016 Masters winner, Danny Willett. Having so many rookies in a Ryder Cup squad is quite a risk, especially outside of Europe, however he will hope that FedEx champion Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson among others can guide the new players over the three days.
The opening day’s play on Friday will be of huge significance for Europe, with eight points on offer and a chance to “blood” debutants in foursomes and four-ball matches. The United States have an opportunity to snatch an early and possibly decisive lead, especially if the new European players struggle on course.
With this in mind, the ‘USA To Win Day One’ bet at 10/11 with Ladbrokes looks a strong option for punters, as the Europeans get to experience the raucous crowds of the first day’s play.
In the outright golf betting, the United States are strong odds on favourites with bookmakers to win the event, with little value in backing them outright. However, a handicap bet looks a more profitable option, with a USA – 2pts handicap bet around Evens with Paddy Power.
As great as it is to see fresh faces in the European side, it could well lead to the team’s downfall, especially on the final day. That extra last day experience in the USA side could prove invaluable.