Ryder Cup 2018 – 28th to 30th September
Golf fans either side of the Atlantic will be eagerly anticipating the upcoming 42nd Ryder Cup tournament. The competition pits the best players from Europe against those of the USA, and this year it will be played in France on the Albatros Course of Le Golf National in Guyancourt, a suburb southwest of Paris.
The USA is a slight favourite this year at 1.93 (Betfair) with Europe 2.3 (Betfair). These odds may reflect the resurgence of Tiger Woods in recent weeks and Dustin Johnson being current world #1 on team USA. However, the lack of course experience is against the U.S team, and home advantage has proven key in Europe for the last 25-years. This could provide some value in backing Europe to win.
Ryder Cup Markets
When I bet on golf, I often back players in the top scorer markets, where you will find plenty of opportunities for trading in-play. You can back either top scorer for team USA, or Europe, or combined top scorer for the whole competition. You will also find top scorer by nationality within Europe, top rookie, and top wildcard.
Whether you are an experienced golf backer or new to the game, here are a few players we think will be worth a bet this year.
Players to Back
Reed has three top-five finishes in his last five majors but has been a bit quiet over the last few events. A true team golfer he loves to soak up the atmosphere and get involved in aggro, we can also expect some banter with the crowd over the weekend. ‘Captain America’ wears the star and stripes on his sleeve and is more than capable of starting fast in France. Reed has not fared well in foursomes (1 win, 2 defeats), but has compiled 3.5 points from 4 in fourballs and two wins in the singles. But if Reed starts on Friday morning, I like his potential to get points on the board early and reduce his price for an early trade-out.
Top combined points scorer – 20/1 (Bet 365)
Top American points scorer – 9/1 (Bet 365)
The recent big news in the golf world is the return to winning ways of golfing legend Tiger Woods. Tiger won his first tournament in five years at the Tour Championship in the build-up to the Ryder Cup, and this has seen a lot of money come in on the U.S and backing Tiger as top scorer.
It was an emotional win for 42-year-old who has suffered a number of back surgeries and well-publicized personal problems over the last five years. The question everyone is asking at the moment: is the great Tiger back? Judging by his performance in Atlanta we can surmise he is back on top, but in reality, he needs to continue his current form over a longer period before we can know for sure.
Woods is the second oldest player in the tournament, which will be compounded by his injury history. Putting has been his weakness this season, but he is 7th in the PGA Tour in shots gained tee to green. Can he strike the balance in his game for the Ryder Cup and bring his confidence and concentration into the tournament. We know what an in-form Tiger is capable of achieving on the green, and catching a good price we can see value in Tiger as top points scorer. Again this could be a trading position early to ensure some profit.
The odds have been shortening on Tiger since his win, but you can still find decent value if you look around.
Top combined points scorer – 14/1 (Betfair)
Top American points scorer – 7/1 (Betfair)
Tommy Fleetwood is one of two Europeans who have won the French Open at Le Golf National, the other being Alex Noren. He knows the course and the difficulties it presents during play. It is a course where the players must find the fairway, and long straight drivers will benefit. Fleetwood is one of European’s longest ball drivers with Justin Rose.
Fleetwood has the perfect temperament for this type of tournament and would make a great partner to complement Ian Poulter, or in a dream-duo with Rory McIlroy. The player in unwavering form is worth a bet as top points scorer either combined or from the Europeans.
Top combined points scorer – 16/1 (Bet 365)
Top European points scorer – 8/1 (Betfair)
Justin Rose is in the finest form of his career, and there is no reason to think he will lose it now on a European course. Fatigue has been mentioned as a factor which could impact his tournament, but Rose has been in too many Ryder Cups to let that affect him. He has excellent tournament management skills and knows when to conserve and when to press.
With a solid record of W11-L6-H2 in Ryder Cup matches, Rose will be a driving force for team Europe. He is a favourite to be top scorer with good reason, and although history tells us to look further down the price list for value, I fancy Rose to grab a few points among the top four.
Top combined points scorer – 10/1 (Betfair)
Top European points scorer – 5/1 (Betfair)
A Ryder Cup points-scoring machine with a record of 12 points, 2 halves and just 4 defeats. He will guarantee the team points through sure determination, passion and energy. Poults has worked so hard to get back in Ryder Cup contention, that I believe we will see his dogged will to win put points on the board.
With his experience and love for the fight, he is always worth a punt.
Top combined points scorer – 33/1 (Betway)
Top European points scorer – 16/1 (Betway)