Welcome to the golf battle of the year: The US against Europe.
It’s Ryder Cup week and time for the golf world spotlight to shine brightly this week on Whistling Straits in Kohler, WI.
The event, featuring 12 players from the United States going up against 12 players from Europe, will see the US squad try to make amends for a dismal showing three years ago (no event last year due to the pandemic), losing 17½-10½. That victory gives Europe four victories in the last five events.
This year’s US squad is filled with talent…but also filled with questions. Will Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka be able to quelch their Twitter sniping long enough to be teammates? Will Koepka even be available after WDing from the Tour Championship with an arm injury? If he is available, will he be effective and have a positive frame of mind?
Well, you get the picture. There are more questions than answers on the US side.
Meanwhile, the Europe team always seems to sweep any problems between teammates (if there even are any) under the rug for the week and put their focus where it needs to be: on the trophy and bragging rights.
Is it possible the US team gets back in the winner’s circle? Let’s look at a few major players who need to make a huge impact before that is possible.
Odds To Win 2021 Ryder Cup By BetMGM
- United States: -190
- Europe: +200
The Captain Has To Lead The Way
Steve Stricker is well-versed in what it takes to be on a winning team at these big-time events. He’s played in enough of them
He’s also had his share of helping out (both in wins and losses) as an assistant captain.
This year’s team will feature six players making their Ryder Cup debut.
Whether that’s good or bad is yet to be determined. But what is already being talked about is who won’t be here.
Kevin Na, who was arguably one of the top five hottest golfers on the PGA Tour down the stretch (he wound up third in the FedEx Cup race this year). He lost out being picked when Stricker went with Scottie Scheffler who is still seeking his first PGA Tour win.
Good move or bad move? The good point is Scheffler can bomb it out at Whistling Straits with the best of them (DeChambeau, Koepka, etc.) so that will help when it comes to the team portion of the play.
Whether it’s four-ball or best-ball, Stricker is sure to combine power and finesse as often as possible.
The Oddsmakers Like Team USA Chances
The US squad is a -190 favorite while Europe comes in at +200 on BetMGM. For those of you who are looking for those once-in-a-blue-moon wagers, a 14-14 draw pays out at +1200. (A note that the European team would retain the cup with a draw as they need just 14 points to retain while the US needs 14½ points to win.
With the likes of Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Harris English and Collin Morikawa on the US side, there are enough players who can bring a calming influence into the locker room. And that’s something you really need when it comes to these pressure-cooker events.
Europe Players Don’t Get The Same Scrutiny
Team Europe has more than its share of world-class players…it’s just that they aren’t always talked about.
Fans here in the US are hungry for any and all information about the top players who have their roots here. Here’s an example: If the name DeChambeau or Koepka show up in a headline, chances are you’re going to click on that story–or in a lot of cases–stories.
Now, put the name Tommy Fleetwood in a headline and you’ll still get clicks from hardcore golf fans. But the fringe fans and bettors will simply move on to the next story.
That being said, this European team just quietly goes about its business of putting together the best two-man squads possible and taking it to the US team.
About the only negative points affecting the European side are temper tantrums by players like Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton. They can certainly be explosive on the course at times if things start going sideways.
But in an event like this, it’s not all about their success and they know this. They will be on their best behavior and look out for the team results over their own.
Just something to think about.
And The Winner Is…
We’re going to go with the hometown boys–Team USA.
Length, youth mixed with experience and the hometown crowd will all work in the United States’ favor…up to a point.
Then it’s time for the players to perform which can often be another story. There are enough players on Team USA who can hit it a mile and just as many who are wizards with wedges. They can all putt with the best of them.
It’s definitely going to be a boisterous crowd backing Team USA and while it will help the American squad, the European team will relish the underdog role and the result could come down to the final putt.
Coming Up Next: Prop Bets Everywhere
If you’re looking for more gaming action, stay tuned over the next day or so as we’re going to come up with a prop bets story that will add to your excitement–and hopefully your winnings–while you watch one of the game’s best tournaments.