You’d be hard-pressed to find a better time in the sports calendar than right now. Football season just got underway, while the Major League Baseball playoffs are just a few weeks from doing the same. Basketball and hockey seasons are on the horizon, while the domestic and international soccer campaigns are in full swing, too.
Later this week, golf will take center stage once again. The 2021 Ryder Cup will get going from Whistling Straits, Wisconsin on Friday, September 24. Last year’s edition had to be postponed because of the pandemic, which gave Team USA another year to prepare for one of golf’s most prestigious events.
The Europeans Have Absolutely Dominated the Ryder Cup in Recent Years
Europe crushed the Americans in the 2018 edition of the tournament in France. Team Europe has now won four of the last five Ryder Cups overall, though only one of those triumphs came on American soil. That occurred back in 2012 when the Europeans beat Team USA, 14.5-13.5, at Medinah Country Club in Illinois.
The most recent Ryder Cup win for the Americans came in 2016 when they picked up a 17-11 win at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota.
Team USA will be captained by Steve Stricker this time around, while Padraig Harrington will captain Team Europe. The Americans are favored on home turf in this year’s event. Golf betting sites have Team USA listed as a heavy -200 favorite to lift the trophy for the 27th time. Team Europe, which has been competing at the Ryder Cup since 1979, is 11-8-1 all-time.
Odds Favor Team USA
As is always the case at the Ryder Cup, both teams are absolutely stacked with some of the most talented golfers on the planet. However, the odds are tilted in favor of Team USA for a number of reasons. The fact that the tournament is set to take place in the United States is one obvious perk for the Americans this time around, but the roster itself is even more impressive than usual.
Here’s the impressive roster Team USA will take to Sheboygan later this week:
Of the 11 best players in the world rankings, nine will be playing later this week for Team USA. Johnson (2), Morikawa (3), Cantlay (4), Schauffele (5), Thomas (6), DeChambeau (7), Finau (9), and Koepka (10) are all in the top-10.
Bryson DeChambeau wants to end to his long-running feud with US Ryder Cup teammate, Brooks Koepka, according to his coach https://t.co/6iDFgC4ML8
The 12-man American roster has won a total of 13 major championships all-time. Koepka leads the way among the Americans with four majors, followed by Spieth (three), while Morikawa and Johnson have won two apiece.
Dating back to 2019, players on the Team USA Ryder Cup team have won five of 11 major competitions.
Here’s how Team Europe will look in Wisconsin:
The European roster, meanwhile, features just one golfer currently ranked in the top-11 in the world. Jon Rahm is actually the top-ranked player on the planet, but the next-best player in the world rankings is 13th-ranked Viktor Hovland.
Europe’s roster has combined to win seven majors all-time. Rory McIlroy accounts for four of those by himself, while Rahm, Sergio Garcia, and Shane Lowry have all won one apiece.
While the American roster is full of young players still in their respective primes, there’s a more veteran presence with the European squad. Garcia, McIlroy, Paul Casey, Lee Westwood, and Ian Poulter are all arguably in the twilights of their respective careers.
Ryder Cup Format
The Ryder Cup is the world’s most famous team golf competition. While most golf tournaments use the standard stroke format, the Ryder Cup is much different. The team that reaches 14.5 points first is declared the winner.
Not all matches will use the same scoring system, however. There will be a total of 28 matches played this weekend. The captains for each team will choose when each of the following formats will be played. In addition to the singles format, which is always played on the final day of the tournament, the Ryder Cup will also feature four-ball and alternate shot formats.
Alternate Shot – Alternate shot is played with two teams of two players apiece. Each team plays one ball per hole, with players on each team alternating shots until the hole is over with. One player will take the first shot on odd-numbered holes, while the other will do so on even-numbered holes. If the teams both complete the hole with the same number of shots, the scores will be sliced in half.
Four-ball – Two players from both the American and European teams will each play their own balls in groups of four. The player with the best score per hole will earn a point for his team. The spoils are shared if the teams complete the hole in the same number of shots.
Singles – Singles matches feature one player per team going head-to-head. The player with the lowest score on each hole wins a point for his team, and the points will be halved if the two players tie.
Who Will Win the 2021 Ryder Cup?
Based on sheer talent, Team USA deserves to be a heavy -200 favorite in this year’s Ryder Cup. The American roster is absolutely laden with world-class players, while the same can’t be said of Team Europe. Rahm is great, but this is a team event. One player won’t be enough to change the fortune of his entire squad.
On paper, this is a serious mismatch. The different formats may help to level the playing field between the sides, but Team USA will have a huge edge on Sunday when it comes down to singles matches. If you understand how to bet on golf, you can argue that the Americans will go into Sunday as heavy betting favorites in the majority of those head-to-head showdowns.
So, Europe’s chances of pulling the upset likely hinge on how much hay they can make on Friday and Saturday in four-ball and alternate shot. Talent doesn’t always reign supreme at the Ryder Cup, but we haven’t often seen a gap in quality between the sides as large as the one we’ll see this weekend.
Bet the Americans to bounce back and win this one going away. I’d be all over Team USA at -200 to claim this year’s Ryder Cup in relatively easy fashion. It’s coming home!
Who Will Win the 2021 Ryder Cup? –Team USA (-200)
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...
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