This year’s Ryder Cup has been overshadowed by the resurgence of Tiger Woods winning last week’s Tour Championship after a period of five years in the wilderness, giving the event added intrigue in a format that he notoriously struggles with. His team aim to retain the Ryder Cup and win in Europe for the first time since 1993 after winning comfortably two year’s ago at Hazeltine by a margin of 17-11.
This time around, Le Golf National in Paris plays host and it’s only the second time the event has taken place outside of Great Britain and Ireland when featuring in Europe. As one of the more challenging venues on the European Tour circuit it promises to live up to the hype as one of the best sporting events on the calendar, whetting even the appetite of non-golf fans.
Despite their poor form on the road the bookies make the USA favourites to retain the Ryder Cup and the oddsmakers find themselves in the unfamiliar position of cheering on Europe thanks to the late surge in bets from starstruck Tiger Woods fans on this side of the pond.
Bookmakers will also desperately be hoping to avoid a repeat of the ‘Miracle in Medinah’, which still registers as the most costly day in golf betting history as Europe surged to victory having been 33/1 underdogs at the start of play on the final day.
The Ryder Cup key statistics:
● The Ryder Cup has finished a tie just once since it has changed to the USA/ Europe format, and only twice in the tournament’s history
● Patrick Reed and Jordan Speith have partnered together seven times in the last two Ryder Cups, more than any other Ryder Cup pairing. Their record is a formidable 4-1-2
● The last time USA won on European soil was 1993
● Europe have won seven out of the last 10 Ryder Cups
Ryder Cup odds:
To lift the trophy:
Tiger Woods top Ryder Cup point scorer 14/1
Tiger Woods top USA Ryder Cup point scorer 13/2
Tiger Woods to hole the winning putt at the 2018 Ryder Cup 14/1
Mickelson to score 0 points 5/2
Longest McIlroy putt holed:
Under 18 feet 4/6
18 feet and over evens
Hole in one 4/1
Total Matches going down the 18th:
12 or more 8/11
Under 12 6/5
The USA were expected to be strong favourites with a group of talented young players, and the likes of Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson winning earlier in the year on the PGA Tour. However, a few of the Americans look woefully out of form, including the aforementioned Mickelson, Watson, and not to mention Jordan Spieth, who failed to qualify for the end of season Tour Championship last week.
There’s a strong argument, that with home advantage on a golf course that should suit, Europe should be favourites – especially considering how poor the USA have been away from home soil, having not won in Europe since 1993.
A number of the European team have performed strongly at Le Golf National, including Alex Noren and Tommy Fleetwood, who won the French Open at the same venue in 2018 and 2017 respectively. It’s a course that should suit the European side, with accuracy off the tee at a premium. The greens should be slower than a lot of the American side are used to particularly considering we’re now entering autumn in Western Europe.
Aside from Justin Thomas a number of the senior American players chose to bypass this year’s French Open which is surprising based on experience of a notoriously difficult venue being seen as a prerequisite.
A more balanced Ryder Cup squad for the Europeans compared to 2016, with genuine world class rookies in Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Alex Noren, alongside a number of experienced captain’s picks should see the trophy return to European soil. At odds against, it’s too good a price to turn down.
If a bet at 5/4 doesn’t appeal then turn your attention to some of the other markets. Sergio Garcia has come under fire in some quarters as a dubious captain’s pick. However, his form at Le Golf National is solid, he’s a popular member of the side and he’s versatile meaning he’s likely to feature in both the Fourball and Foursomes format. At 7/1 he looks a solid bet for top wildgcard given he should relish the intense atmosphere that a Ryder Cup brings.
On the US side, it’s a surprise that Patrick Reed isn’t favourite to be top points scorer. The last two tournaments he has been the team’s poster boy and delivered crucial points, often alongside Jordan Spieth in the team format so 8/1 looks very fair indeed. The Masters champion lives for the big occasion and it’s easy to see him having a good tournament again. He’s also worth a look in the overall points market for those looking at a double figure flutter.
For the Europeans, Tommy Fleetwood looks overpriced to have a good three days and is the value in the Top Rookie and Top European points markets. During the past 18 months Fleetwood has been one of the most consistent performers on the European and PGA Tour, he has a course win under his belt and his laid back demeanor definitely suits match play golf. At a juicy 15/1, he’s simply too good to turn down as a pick to be top points scorer.
● Europe to win the Ryder Cup 5/4
● Top Wildcard- Sergio Garcia 7/1
● Top Rookie- Tommy Fleetwood 9/2
● Top USA points scorer- Patrick Reed 8/1
● Top combined points scorer- Tommy Fleetwood 15/1
All odds and stats from SportNation.Bet
The Ryder Cup 2018 tees off at 7am on Friday