In part four of our Ryder Cup betting angles with Betolimp, WADE PRETORIUS takes a look at the potential outcome and makes his bet.
Three factors may determine the winners of the 2018 Ryder Cup: strength of depth, rookie performance and underdog determination. That’s according to me, anyways.
It might be anti-Team USA bias, but this edition is going to be closer than many suggest. The USA side may outrank their opposition but the golf course set-up, the home crowd and history of struggles in Europe will narrow the margins.
According to the world rankings, this is the second-strongest US side since 1999 and, added to that, this side has a lot more unity with veterans Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods now acting as unifying forces instead of creating team room divides as in years gone by. But … the strongest team on paper doesn’t always equate to strongest in terms of results with the top-ranked side only winning three of the last 10 events.
Add that to the mix that has the bookies’ favourites only winning 50% in the same span and there’s enough wiggle room for Team Europe to get back into the contest.
They are by no means a weak side; they have form (Justin Rose and Francesco Molinari), course knowledge (Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood and Thorbjorn Olesen) and team chemistry (Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia) to bring to the event. Alex Noren and Tyrrell Hatton are two of the best putters across both sides and Henrik Stenson and Paul Casey – who may not see more than three games in 2018 – add plenty of experience.
Europe have been plotting for this year since their defeat at Hazeltine and simply won’t be rolled over. They have five rookies (vs three from Team USA) but those include Rahm, Fleetwood and Noren. Not the kind of players who are going to be overawed and rookies tend to fare better at home events which further boosts their chances.
Leaning towards the USA? Then grab 11.5/1 on USA 15.5 – Europe 12.5 as the exact scoreline.
Ryder Cup historical scores:
2016: United States (17 – 11)
2014: Europe (16.5 – 11.5)
2012: Europe (14.5 – 13.5)
2010: Europe (14.5 – 13.5)
2008: United States (16.5 – 11.5)
2006: Europe (18.5 – 9.5)
2004: Europe (18.5 – 9.5)
2002: Europe (15.5 – 12.5)
1999: United States (14.5 – 13.5)
1997: Europe (14.5 – 13.5)