Golf

Ryder Cup – Can the US win in Europe?

1993 – Bill Clinton was President, New England Patriots had never won a Super Bowl, Donald Trump was more famous for starring in Home Alone 2 than being President and 3 of the 2018 US Ryder Cup team were born. 1993 is also the last time the USA has won the Ryder Cup in Europe. 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the last US victory so why have they been so bad away from home and what hopes do they have this time around?

The Last Victory

The last time the USA won in Europe, 25 years ago, they were led by Tom Watson. At The Belfry in Warwickshire, USA defeated Europe 15-13 with the USA winning 5 of the 12 singles matches in a row to seal the victory with Davis Love III’s half on the last hole finally confirming the win. The stars of the team were Raymond Floyd, Corey Pavin and Payne Stewart who each gained 3 points for the American side. USA was at one point, after the Saturday foursomes, 3 points behind but recovered to earn the victory on the Sunday.

Struggles Since 93

The first defeat in 1997 was assured before the final day even started with USA 5 points behind and, despite a dominant 8-4 victory on the singles, couldn’t make up the deficit. This was the Ryder Cup debut of a certain Tiger Woods. 2002 was a different story, although ended the same. Going into the final day both sides were level on 8 points each but Europe dominated the singles and ended up with a 3 point margin of victory. In 2006, Europe absolutely hammered USA in Ireland, winning every single session and ending with a 9 point margin of victory. At Celtic Manor in 2010, Graeme McDowell was the hero for Europe with his victory in the last singles match. At Gleneagles in 2014, Justin Rose dominated as his 4 points contributed to a 5 point victory margin for Europe.

1993 vs 2018

Comparisons can be made between 1993 and 2018. Raymond Floyd and Corey Pavin both had quite poor Ryder Cup records going into the 1993 event. In today’s side, experienced players Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler have below average records (with winning percentages of 27.27 and 40.91 respectively) despite their obvious talent. Will this be the year that Watson and Fowler finally step up, just as Floyd and Pavin did all those years ago? The 1993 side also had 4 rookies, 2 of which contributed 2 vital points each in Davis Love III and Jim Gallagher Jr. 2018 has 3 rookies of its own in Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau. Thomas, in particular, is in fine form.

2018 Lineups

Europe – Thomas Bjorn (c), Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari, Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Alex Noren, Paul Casey, Henrik Stenson, Tyrrell Hatton, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Thorbjorn Olesen

USA – Jim Furyk (c), Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Tony Finau, Webb Simpson, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson

Can USA win?

While Europe has the world number one in Justin Rose along with Ryder Cup legends Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter, USA has world number 2, 3 and 4 in Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas and they have a returning legend of their own in Tiger Woods. What could be an advantage for USA too is that their in-form players such as Koepka, Thomas and DeChambeau, have never played a Ryder Cup away from USA so are unburdened by historic defeats. Over half of the US team is under 30, meaning they should have nothing to fear.

Another reason to be hopeful is that while USA has a player with an awful record in Ryder Cups, Bubba Watson, Europe have someone with an even worse record in Molinari. USA also have 2 players, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka, with an even better record than Europe’s Ryder Cup specialist Ian Poulter. USA have many reasons to think they can finally break the duck and, while it will no doubt be a close contest, they may even be slight favorites.

Verdict – Europe 13-15 USA

 

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The Open Predictions

THE OPEN PREDICTIONS

The British Open is right around the corner. Here, we look at the top tips among the favourites and a massive outsider pick.

TOP CONTENDERS

Dustin Johnson (11/1)

The world number one is the favourite with most bookies. The American star should have clinched the US Open having led by quite some distance early on. He ended up 3rd and questions could remain over whether that will affect him here.

VERDICT – Top 5

Justin Rose (12/1)

After a disappointing end to 2017 in major tournaments, Rose has picked up in 2018 with a 12th place and 10th place finish so far. Along with Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy, he represents Britain’s best hope of victory here.

VERDICT – Top 5

Brooks Koepka (22/1)

Earlier this year, Koepka became the first golfer since Curtis Strange in 1988 to successfully defend his US Open title. He is arguably the in-form player of the field. The American should make the top 10 easily and is our top tip to win the whole tournament.

VERDICT – Winner

OUTSIDERS

Matt Wallace (175/1)

I did say this was a big outsider but the odds for this man represent an unmissable outside bet. In 2016 on the Alps tour, Wallace won 5 tournaments in a row and has a European tour victory under his belt this year, winning the BMW International Open in June. Albeit at a lower level, the only man with more victories than Wallace since 2015 is world number one Dustin Johnson.

– Robert Shiers

Betting News, Golf

US OPEN Half Way Stage

US Open Half Way Stage

While most of the world has its eyes focused on the World Cup, the USA may have a distraction. As they failed to qualify for Russia, the US Open may be more on the Americans minds. Especially as they should have a winner in this one.

Here are our tips for the final 2 days:

WINNER – Dustin Johnson (4/6)

Johnson was one of the favourites going in and leads by 4 after day 2. An American has won the last 3 US Open tournaments including Johnson himself 2 years ago.

WINNER WITHOUT JOHNSON – Tommy Fleetwood (15/2)

Fleetwood is in decent form in 2018. With a lot of players in a tight group behind Johnson, Fleetwood will fancy his chances after hitting a 66 on day 2. Will face strong competition from the likes of Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson though.

END OF ROUND 3 LEADER W/O JOHNSON – Rickie Fowler (9/1)

American Fowler is 2 shots off 2nd place currently but will be determined to improve his position after 3 previous top 10 finishes in the US Open without winning. He improved on his opening day score of 73 to hit a 69 on day 2 and we are backing him to get better and better.

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– Robert Shiers