The 39th Ryder Cup heads to Medinah Country Club in Illinois this weekend with USA the clear favourites to reclaim the trophy on home soil (starts Friday, Sept 28).
Europe may be the current holders, and it’s true to say that the side has pulled off some notable victories on the other side of the Atlantic, but their recent record on American soil isn’t good.
When Nick Faldo’s 12-man squad headed to Louisville in 2008, a strong USA side under Paul Azinger recorded an emphatic 16.5 to 11.5 victory. This most recent result has made the hosts short odds favourites ahead of Friday’s first set of foursomes.
Medinah country club is one of the longest courses on the PGA tour and at 7,770 yards, it will undoubtedly favour the big hitters. Straight driving from the tee will be key with narrow fairways lined with tall trees and tight greens guarded by lakes and notoriously treacherous bunkers. The greens themselves are likely to be lightning fast with up to 13 expected on the stimp.
As you would expect, the course has been chosen to suit the home side although there are several players on the European team who are regular fixtures on the USPGA tour. The likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Luke Donald won’t be too concerned by Medina but the remainder of the side could struggle on this testing course.
In the individual player markets, Tiger Woods is the obvious favourite at 5/1 with Bet365 to score the most points for his side. The critics will tell you that the former World number one has a poor record in Ryder Cup matches and that may well be true. In fact, with seven losses, Woods is only one off the current record held by Ray Floyd for most foursomes defeats.
However, Tiger’s record at Medinah is the one that should be taken seriously ahead of this event. He won the PGA Championships in 1999 and 2006. The signs are that he is approaching his best form and this may be when he turns that Ryder Cup record around.
As for Europe, World Number One Rory McIlory is the clear favourite to score more points at 11/2 with Blue Square Bookmaker. Momentum is with the Northern Irishman after that PGA Championship win this year and that may be your best choice.
However, the relative inexperience of McIlory in a Ryder Cup atmosphere could lead to better value elsewhere. Lee Westwood has the consistency and experience in this competition to make odds of 8/1 with BetVictor seem a better selection in this market.
One last piece of information just might help your selection in the match betting as the Ryder Cup approaches. At the East Lake event last week, seven of this US side finished inside the top ten and that would suggest that form is very much with the hosts.
In 2010, Europe secured a narrow win at Celtic Manor and this impressive side has consistently shown its ability to defy the odds at the Ryder Cup. However, all of the factors ahead of Medinah in 2014 are pointing to a home victory and it’s hard to see Jose Maria Olazabal’s men upsetting the favourites this weekend.
Ryder Cup Picks & Betting Tips
- USA to win the Ryder Cup at 8/11 with SkyBet or Paddy Power.
- Tiger Woods to be top points scorer for USA at 5/1 with Bet365, Betfred, Blue Square, Stan James.
- Lee Westwood to be top points scorer for Europe at 8/1 with Bet365, BetVictor or Ladbrokes.
- From the USA? Place your bets with BetOnline Sportsbook (accepts all Americans) or Bovada (accepts all USA except four states: New York, Maryland, Utah, Washington).