Europe and the USA head to Gleneagles for the 40th Ryder Cup.
One of golf’s most prestigious events arrives in Scotland this weekend. It’s the 40th Ryder Cup and Team Europe will be looking to continue their recent run of success in the competition.
The USA haven’t won a Ryder Cup on foreign soil since 1993 and Europe are the favourites to win their sixth Cup in seven attempts. Keep reading for our preview of the 2014 Ryder Cup.
Players to watch
“You look at the European team,” said US captain Tom Watson, “and yes, on paper they look stronger than the American team.”
With four out of the top five ranked golfers in the world, Paul McGinley has an embarrassment of riches for this weekend’s Ryder Cup. European golfers won three of the four Major titles in 2014 and, in Rory McIlroy, Europe have the world number one and the man in form.
Europe can also call on the likes of Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson while rookies Victor Dubuisson and Jamie Donaldson have enjoyed a terrific season.
To celebrate the 2014 Ryder Cup, we’re giving all our customers who place a live bet using our in-play betting centre on Day One and Day Two of the event a free bet for use on Day Three on Sunday.
Europe’s talisman in recent years has been Ian Poulter and it’s no surprise to see the Englishman at just 7/1 to be Europe’s top point scorer.
However, it’s worth noting that 92 of the world’s top 100 golfers have amassed more ranking points than Poulter this year and he has lost in the first round in three of the last four WGC matchplay tournaments.
A better bet is Justin Rose. Rose has yet to lose a Ryder Cup match and the 2013 US Open champion ended the season well with a T4 at the WGC Bridgestone and a T4 at the season ending Tour Championship.
Picking the US top scorer will mean selecting a golfer likely to play every round – and they tend to be the big name stars rather than the rookies.
Hunter Mahan has an excellent record in matchplay golf and was the US top scorer the last time the Americans won the Ryder Cup back in 2008.
Mahan has a winning percentage of 56% in the Ryder Cup (the 11/2 favourite in this market, Rickie Fowler, has just 33%) and so looks a great bet at 10/1.
Europe favourites to retain the Ryder Cup
Home support, four of the top five ranked players and the absence of some of the form players in the US team – no Chris Kirk or Billy Horschel – all point to a European win at Gleneagles.
However, it may not be quite that simple. Europe have won the last two Ryder Cups by one solitary point and so both competitions have been close. And, with vital points often won around the greens, the Americans may have a slight advantage in that department.
Jordan Spieth averages the fewest putts per round (27.86) of any participant and while 11 of the 12 US players average fewer than 29 putts per round, only seven Europeans can make that claim.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that last five Ryder Cups have been won by the team with the highest average world ranking.
In 2014, that honour lies with the Americans, whose average position is 16.4 compared to Europe’s 19.8. This is mainly because of the lowly rankings of wildcards Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Stephen Gallacher.
It would be a tall order for the US to win – it’s been over 20 years since they triumphed on European shores – but in a tight contest this could finally be their year and the outsiders have won seven of the last eleven Ryder Cups.
You can back the USA at 7/4 and, with six of the eleven renewals since 1989 ending 14.5 to 13.5, a one point win for Tom Watson’s team is available at 10/1.
The 2014 Ryder Cup takes place in Gleneagles from 26–28th September, teeing off on Friday at 07.00 GMT.
Check out all our pre-tournament odds on the 2014 Ryder Cup over on our main site, in our dedicated Ryder Cup Betting Hub, where we’ll be featuring daily specials live and in-play throughout the event.