It’s hard to recall a more eagerly awaited Ryder Cup than the one that starts this Friday at Le Golf National in, as the name suggests, France.
It is a rare occurrence that the Ryder Cup is played outside of the USA or UK but the superior record of team Europe outside of the USA should not be ignored, nor the fact that Europe’s captain, the wily Thomas Bjorn, will have the course set up to favour the statistically more accurate Europeans over the longer hitting USA.
USA are favourites because they have the lower ranked players but this is negated by the factors favouring Europe mentioned above. Europe also have two players in Tommy Fleetwood and Alex Noren – both rookies – who have won tournaments at Le Golf National while only Justin Thomas from the USA team even bothered to play the most recent event at the course.
Europe should be favourites:
3 units Europe to win at $2.25 with Neds/Bet365
Another angle I like is to lean towards European players in the top points scorer markets with no USA player having been top points scorer since 1995. A team Europe player has won in 8 of the last 10 Ryder Cups with two ties.
Last time around Skeeter found Thomas Pieters – a rookie – at 40/1 in the top points scorer market so we should not be too concerned about rookies perhaps not playing enough matches. Any player that comes out of the blocks firing will have a solid chance of playing enough matches to rack up 3.5 or 4 points, which history suggests should be enough to get at least a share of the top scorer spoils.
Three European rookies stand out. Alex Noren and Tommy Fleetwood have both won at Le Golf National while Tyrell Hatton gives the impression of being an Ian Poulter type fierce competitor in the years to come.
1 unit Alex Noren to be top scorer at $34 with Neds/Bet365
1 unit Tommy Fleetwood to be top scorer at $17 with Neds/Bet365
1 unit Tyrell Hatton to be top scorer at $70 on Betfair