American golfers will land on French soil next week, going into battle against European foes in scenes reminiscent of the D-Day Landings. That is, of course, assuming that the Second World War had corporate sponsorship with companies like Rolex and Emirates Airlines, the troops earned millions and the war was fought with tiny balls and graphite sticks.
It refers to the Ryder Cup, of course. The biannual competition that pits the best of Europe’s golfing talent against the cream of the crop from across the Atlantic. While the WWII metaphor is perhaps a little bit of an exaggeration, it does help to highlight that the Ryder Cup is one of the few golf competitions that can get quite feisty. Players and fans alike are passionate about the tournament, leading to scenes that can become fairly heated (by golf’s, admittedly tame, standards).
The big event takes place at Le Golf National, just outside Paris, from the 25th-30th September. Players play different matches – in both singles and pairs – across the five days, earning points to decide who will take home the Ryder Cup.
America betting favourites to retain
America are the current holders of the trophy, having dominated the 2016 competition for a 17-11 victory at Hazeltine in 2016. They are slight favourites for this one, coming in at odds of 3/4 with Mr Green sports betting. The Europeans are priced at 6/4, not a bad shout when you consider the USA have not won the event on European soil since 1993. It’s about those raucous crowds again, with ‘home crowds’ seemingly giving players an advantage.
The nature of the event is all about ‘team’, with Team USA doing battle Team Europe. However, the media’s focus will inevitably be drawn towards one man – Mr Tiger Woods. The 14-time Major winner missed the previous two tournaments, due to injuries and personal issues, but it is generally accepted that he will provide a boost to Team USA, especially given that his form seems to be back.
Woods big odds for top points haul
Indeed, Tiger’s good form of late makes him an interesting bet at 16/1 to be the top points scorer at the Ryder Cup. If you think it’s too risky, sites like Mr Green will have welcome bonus offers to use at the online casino, so you can perhaps build a tidy bankroll to use on Mr Green’s sportsbook. Incidentally, Woods’ team-mate, Dustin Johnson, leads the odds for top points scorer at 7/1, closely followed by Brook Koepka at 9/1.
So, who will come out on top in the battle of Paris? It’s really hard to say and the bookmakers have possibly overestimated America’s chances ever so slightly. They have the better team of players, there is little doubt about that, but the evidence is there that it is extremely difficult to win a Ryder Cup away from home comforts. If you are talking about strike-rate, it’s around 22% for the USA since 1979. That’s not reflected in those odds of 3/4.
Overall though, having a close tournament is good for the competition. If you find golf a little stuffy, a bit reserved, the Ryder Cup is the most likely competition to change your mind on the matter.