USA Hot Favorites for Ryder Cup Glory

USA Hot Favorites for Ryder Cup Glory

Photo of 2018 Ryder Cup in France under Creative Commons

The Ryder Cup is nothing without the fans. Postponing last year’s event was the right thing to do, as playing to empty grandstands would have been unthinkable. Now, we get to look forward to the rearranged tournament this September in front of thousands of passionate spectators.

The Ryder Cup will play out at the spectacular Whistling Straits course in Wisconsin, and that home turf can make a big difference. The USA fans, while remaining respectful, true to the spirit of the game, are like an extra man on the team. The Europeans won’t expect anything less – their own supporters are just as boisterous when the Ryder Cup plays out over the Atlantic.

But it’s not just home advantage that sees the USA installed as hot favorites. Bookmakers look at the players likely to represent their country and can only see one winner. A little research via platforms like shows you will get odds at something like 8/11 on a USA victory and 7/4 on a European win.

For a two-horse race, that’s quite a difference. And it’s even more of an eye-opener when you consider that the United States has only won three times in the last 12 Ryder Cup events, although all of those were on home territory, the last being at the Hazeltine National Golf Club Minnesota, back in 2016.

The bookies think this event’s US captain, Steve Stricker, is blessed with a number of top players running in good form. European skipper, Padraig Harrington, would seem to have more problems with players in patchy form – Rory McIlroy being a good example of that.

Current US Player Standings

Heading into the PGA Championship event in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, these are the current top ten US players on points, with the first six being automatic picks if the team was chosen currently. Stricker would then have six wildcards to select.

  • Dustin Johnson
  • Bryson DeChambeau
  • Justin Thomas
  • Collin Morikawa
  • Xander Schauffele
  • Brooks Koepka
  • Patrick Reed
  • Tony Finau
  • Daniel Berger
  • Webb Simpson

Stricker’s wildcards may well be the players listed but out of the top six, but he can choose any with a proven Ryder Cup record. Nerves of steel are so important for one of the biggest sporting events in the world.

Of that list, it’s hard to see many people rivaling the top three – DJ, big-hitting DeChambeau, and Thomas – in Europe, or anywhere else in the world for that matter.

But who will line up for Europe when the three-day event tees off on September 24?

Current Team European Player Standings

Rory McIlroy – follow link for pic credit

Europe’s picks are based on the European Points List and the World Points List. The top four from the European list qualify automatically, along with the top five in the World Points list who are not on the European list. Padraig Harrington will then have three wildcard picks. 

Here are those two lists at the time of writing, with the current qualifying players in bold. Any of the remaining players will fancy their chances of becoming a wild card:

Top Ten European Points list:

Tommy Fleetwood

Jon Rahm

Tyrrell Hatton

Rory McIlroy

Victor Perez

Bernd Wiesberger

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Robert McIntyre

Danny Willett

Matthias Schwab


World Points List

Jon Rahm

Rory McIlroy

Tyrrell Hatton

Viktor Hovland

Lee Westwood

Tommy Fleetwood

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Victor Perez

Paul Casey

Robert MacIntyre

Ryder Cup Format

The Ryder Cup is a special golf tournament played every two years. Twenty-four of the world’s best golfers at an event that so often makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

While most golf tournaments play over four days, the Ryder Cup plays over three, Friday through Sunday. There is a morning and afternoon session on Friday and Saturday, with four ball games in the morning and foursomes in the afternoon (with each pairing taking alternate shots). Each captain must elect four teams of two for each session.

Sunday turns to a nailbiting singles format, with all 12 players from each team taking part.

The scores are determined on a simple points format, totted up over all three days. There is one point for each match won – whether it’s the doubles or singles – and half a point for each match tied.

Last time around, at the Le Golf National course in France, Europe romped to a 17.5 to 10.5 points victory over the United States. Italy’s Francesco Molinary was the top points scorer for the hosts, bagging five points from his five matches. Justin Thomas topped the US charts with four points from five outings. It was an event that Tiger Woods will want to forget – he was pointless from four matches.

Form is Key

The bookies have so much confidence in the US thanks to the fine form of its key players, like world number one Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, and the ferocious DeChambeau.

But the bookies are not always right. Rory McIlroy had looked out of sorts for the Europeans since becoming a father – before storming the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina.

Who will carry that form through to September? It promises to be a brilliant Ryder Cup – and there is not too long to wait until we find out.

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