Not The Start We Wanted
After finishing last season on such a high, it wasn’t exactly the start we were after. Speaking of starts, it looked like we were off to the perfect start when Reavie was the outright leader after the first round. However, he peaked too soon and ended up finishing 28th. This week, Hoffman did the best for the team by finishing one shot ahead of Reavie, finishing in 22nd. Unfortunately, our must-have pick Jon Rahm missed the cut, and you have to think his head was never in the game with the Ryder Cup only a week away.
This week it’s the big one! The ultimate team event in sport! Yes, of course, I’m talking about the Ryder Cup. We will begin, as always, by taking a look at the history of the tournament as we start to build this week’s Beerlife profile.
The Ryder Cup has established itself as one of the most prestigious athletic events in the world. A match-play competition pits 24 of the finest players from Europe and the United States against one other every two years. Drama, tension, fantastic golf, camaraderie, and sportsmanship are all served up in equal measure, enthralling an international audience of millions. It’s a sporting event that transcends sports while remaining true to its founder, Samuel Ryder.
Ryder, a wealthy businessman, and ardent golfer commissioned a trophy to be constructed and subsequently donated it in 1927 as the prize for the winning team in a proposed golf tournament between American and British professionals. (Of course, the British squad would be expanded in 1973 to include Ireland, and then in 1979 to include all continental Europe.)
From September 24-26, 2021, the 2020 Ryder Cup will be held at Whistling Straits Golf Club in Wisconsin. Following their 17 ½ - 10 ½ victory against the United States at Le Golf National last September, Europe will go to Wisconsin as the Ryder Cup holders.
Since 1979, when the Ryder Cup was established as a competition between the United States and Europe, Europe has won 11 times. Between 1973 and 1977, a Great Britain and Ireland squad faced the power of the United States, but before that, it was Great Britain vs. the United States. Since 1979, the United States had won nine Ryder Cups, with one tie in 1989, when Europe held the trophy after winning the previous competition in 1987 - the Ryder Cup regulations state that in the event of a tie, the holders keep the iconic trophy.
2018 Europe 17 ½ - 10 ½ USA – Francesco Molinari 5 Points
2016 USA 17 – 11 Europe – Thomas Pieters 4 Points
2014 Europe 16 ½ - 11 ½ USA – Justin Rose 4 Points
2012 USA 13 ½ - 14 ½ Europe – Ian Poulter 4 Points
2010 Europe 14 ½ - 13 ½ USA – Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Steve Stricker & Tiger Woods 3 Points
Pete Dye pioneered the notion of stadium golf in the 1980s, with ground-breaking courses on both coasts of the United States. Every year, both cities hold PGA Tour events. TPC Sawgrass is in Florida, while PGA West is in the California desert. Despite its name, Whistling Straits is a stadium course and was designed specifically for high-profile championship golf events such as the Ryder Cup. This week, supporters will fill the spectacular metal bleachers and drape blankets fashioned from the wool of the course's local sheep over the hills lining the Straits' passageways.
A golf course beneath the dirt and metal bleachers has been built to stage drama on the most Shakespearean level that golf can achieve. There will be comedy in the shape of generous fairways, close-clipped rough, and beautiful greens that, despite their undulations, should yield numerous putts, birdies, and eagles during the matches. There will, however, be a tragedy, particularly if the wind blows. Few courses in the world place errant shots in such difficult places as Whistling Straits, which features fairways and greens dangling above precipitous drop-offs, unusually tufty tall grass, and the 22,000-square-mile Lake Michigan.
Every hole will be thrilling due to the design's visual drama and expressiveness, but the golf course's par 3s and long par 4s are the true heart of the course. The one-shotters are at Nos. 3, 7, 12, and 17, therefore in the Foursomes sessions, both teams will prefer their strongest iron players to tee off on the odd-numbered holes. They have the variety necessary for engaging golf: two-run south and two-run north, and their lengths are middle-long-short-long.
The weather looks like a mixed bag this week which will only add to the drama. There will be high winds and rain on Thursday, which could make the course play differently on Friday when the event kicks off. However, the wind will die down, and the rain will disperse as the tournaments go on.
After Harrington and Stricker named their captain's picks, the teams have been finalized. At Whistling Straits, these are the players who will take the tee. The absence of Justin Rose by Harrington and Patrick Reed by Stricker was the most significant talking point once the selections were finalized.
Europe: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland, Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Fitzpatrick, Lee Westwood, Bernd Wiesberger, Sergio Garcia (pick), Shane Lowry (pick), Ian Poulter (pick)
USA: Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Cantlay, Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth (pick), Tony Finau (pick), Xander Schauffele (pick), Harris English (pick), Daniel Berger (pick), Scottie Scheffler (pick)
We run each player in the field through our BeerLife Sports profile analysis to come up with our selections. This is what we are looking for this week:
Ryder Cup is a FOUR-LONG conclusion – Whistling Straits was ranked as the longest course in major championship history at 7,514 yards for the 2004 PGA. In addition, three of the par-4s were over 500 yards long (Nos. 8, 15, and 18).
- Bryson DeChambeau
- Rory McIlroy
- Cameron Champ
- Matthew Wolff
- Will Gordon
Par 4 Scoring Average
- Patrick Cantlay
- Seamus Power
- Chris Kirk
- Daniel Berger
- Jon Rahm
Sandman – There are bunkers in plenty throughout the place. They wind their way through fairways, ornament the tops of two-story mounds, hide in fescue rough, and cling to the slopes of greens.
Scrambling From Sand
- Webb Simpson
- Xander Schauffele
- Patrick Cantlay
- Brooks Koepka
- Byeong Hun An
Horses For Courses – Shortly after their victories at Whistling Straits, all three PGA Championship winners were ranked No. 1 in the world, proving if you do well around here, you have to be a good player.
2015 PGA Championship
- Jason Day
- Jordan Spieth
- Branden Grace
- Justin Rose
- Brooks Koepka
After looking at the above data and running the field through our BeerLife Sports profile builder, we have selected the following picks.
|Top Points Scorer +1000|
|Draft Kings $13,500|
|The reigning Tour champion bounces into the Ryder Cup in great form and full of confidence. I liked the way he strolled to victory in the season finale; even when Rahm got within touching distance, he stayed calm and was always in control. He led the FedEx standings for most of the year, proving how consistent he has been. He had four wins, six top-three finishes, and seven top ten placings, so he knows how to get over the line. He played par fours better than anyone last season and is a fantastic wedge player, especially from the sand, which will be vital around this golf course.|
|Top Points Scorer +1400|
|Draft Kings $11,100|
|Koepka has one of the best records of the American team and will look to lead from the front. The four-time major winner saves his best golf for the big stage, and they don't come much bigger than the Ryder Cup. There have been some concerns over his fitness, but I don't believe he would jeopardize the US chances if he weren't fully fit. He has good course form, backed up by a fantastic sand game. He has very little weakness to his game, making him a great all-around player.|
|Top Points Scorer +1000|
|Draft Kings $13,800|
|McIlroy has shown glimpses of his old self this season, and he has the long game to do well around here. Like our other pick Koepka, Rory has four major titles under his belt. He has played well at the big events this season and will thrive under the pressure of being one of his team's talismans. He has four Ryder Cup wins to his name and a total of 13 points which he will be hoping to add to this week.|
All fantasy values are captain picks.
My name is Dean, AKA The Stat Man. I am a Sports Betting Analyst who uses math, algorithms, probability and logic to create my posts. I specialize in many sports, with Golf being the primary focus. You can find a lot of my work on various websites but the best content is found here on Beer Life.
I live in the UK, on the outskirts of London but my background and heritage is Irish. I'm an avid Manchester United fan who sees following them as a religion. Sport is pretty much my life, as I live and breathe it daily. If there is something I don't know it's probably not worth knowing as I have over 20 years industry experience and insight.
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As always, believe in the power of statistics!