Recap of last weeks bets
|To Win||Cameron Tringale||Lost|
|Top Five||Charles Howell III||Lost|
|Top 20||Brian Stuard||Lost|
Profit/Loss (This week) – Loss of $30 to a $10 Stake
Profit/Loss (Overall) – Loss of $147 to a $10 Stake
On to this week’s event.
The last time the Americans and Europeans played was in 2018 at Le Golf National, just outside of Paris, where Team Europe beat a lackluster and stale Team USA 17.5 – 10.5 to reclaim the cup. The Europeans have won seven of the last nine Ryder Cups since the Americans’ remarkable comeback at Brookline in 1999. So Captain Stricker is under a lot of pressure to find the right vibe and get his ultra-talented team over the hump on home territory.
Because of the ongoing pandemic worldwide, we arrive a year late on the northern shore of Lake Michigan. Of all the golf tournaments that exist, the Ryder Cup is the last one you’d want to watch without any fans. The spectators generate an atmosphere more akin to an English Premier League match than a typical PGA Tour tournament. The Americans will need all the help they can get, as team togetherness has been a significant focus in the build-up.
The Straits, one of two courses of the Whistling Straits complex, was designed by Pete and Alice Dye and opened in 1998. The Straits is a links-style course that snakes its way through open, rocky, and windy terrain. It hosted the 2007 Senior Open, which was won by Brad Bryant, and the USPGA Championships in 2004, 2010, and 2015, which were won by Vijay Singh, Martin Kaymer, and Jason Day, respectively.
I think this is a strange choice of venue for the Americans. However, I can see why it was chosen because it feels like a stadium course and should generate a hostile atmosphere that could intimidate the Europeans. However, you have to feel the style and design of the course will suit the Europeans much better, given they will have played on courses like this a lot more often than the Americans. Also, the fact that the weather will be a lot like the Europeans are used to could make for a leveler, given there is no doubt that the US team has a better lineup on paper.
Friday morning foursomes kick off the week with an alternate-shot style that favors the team with the best camaraderie. Many people are aware that the Europeans have discovered the secret sauce and harmony required to succeed. Team Europe has a 41–31 advantage over this century of supremacy in these matches and an even more astounding 15.5–8.5 margin over the last three competitions.
In terms of the fourball format, the United States has improved in recent years. In this format, the United States has an 18–14 advantage. During the same time, the Europeans have a 27–21 lead in singles matches on Sunday. So, despite all of the hype about matchups and teams, it’s always come down to individual players making the difference when it counts.
On to our picks for this year…
USA to Win by 4-6 Points +400
As much as it kills me to say it, I can only see one winner this week. The Americans have always been a talking team and looked ‘good on paper, and time and time again, the Europeans have proved the doubters wrong and pulled off the win. However, the difference this year is I don’t think they have the players to achieve that. When I look down the list of the US team, anyone one of them could be a serious matchup for even the best European players, but I don’t see that when I look down the list of the European team. This is an odd pick for me. As my followers know, I am known for my stats and following them, and if I did that here, I would probably opt for the Europeans. They will be better suited to the course, the weather, have better comradery and have the experience on their side. But as they say, the cream always rises to the top, and the US team looks too good this year.
Top Point Scorer
Jon Rahm +800
The Europeans only have one chance of winning this week: going top-heavy and trying to dominate early, putting the Americans under pressure, and silencing the crowds. Ordinarily, I am against this ploy as it can leave you very weak at the back, but I see no other choice here. That will mean the top Europeans will need to play in every session, and they could likely be paired with strong partners in the pairs matches. Rahm was the only player to play on the PGA Tour last week, so of all the Europeans, he is likely to be the player warmed up the most. Granted, he missed the cut, but I think the idea of him playing was to keep his arms loose.
Top USA Points Scorer
Bryson DeChambeau +800
It would appear that DeChambeau is falling out with everyone these days, so picking him to be his countries leading points scorer in a team event might seem a little strange. However, the early rumors coming out of the American camp are that he is likely to be paired with either Collin Morikawa or Xander Schauffele. Either way that is going to be one hell of a pairing! Bryson certainly has the long game to tackle this course, and while there are questions marks over his commitment to the cause, I believe he could prove some people wrong this week.
Top Captains Pick Point Scorer
Daniel Berger +900
I’m taking a bit of a punt with this one as it’s unknown how much action Berger will see this week. However, for me, he is the epitome of a stead golfer, which makes him the ideal partner for anyone (even the erratic DeChambeau). If he is given a chance to prove himself early and starts well, it could become the case where Steve Stricker can’t leave him out.
Top Rookie Point Scorer
Victor Hovland +600
Anyone who knows me knows I am a massive fan of this young man. Although he is a rookie, I think he will have a more significant part to play on the European team than many realize, including himself. As I said earlier on, the Europeans don’t have the luxury of being able to rotate their lineup, and with Hovland in such great form this year, it will be impossible for Harrington to not allow him much time on the course. Working out the pairings in my head, I see Hovland pairing with Rahm near the top. If that is the case, the odds on Hovland picking up more points than any of the rookies look attractive.
Top GB and Ireland Points Scorer
Rory McIlroy +300
Perhaps the obvious choice but this looks like a no-brainer to me. Rory is guaranteed to play more golf than any of his compatriots, and when you look at the betting odds and see that Tommy Fleetwood is the next best (a player who hasn’t had a great season), the odds for McIlroy start to become more enticing. The only player who could trouble McIlroy is probably Paul Casey. However, as Rory is better suited to this course, I am opting for him with his long drives.