The Europeans have dominated Ryder Cup golf as of late, winning four of the last five but it is the Americans that come into this year’s event at Medinah in Illinois as the favorites in what could be the most exciting Ryder Cup in recent memory.
Team United States
Golf Betting Odds: -165
The Americans have just one player inside the top six of the world golf rankings as Tiger Woods sits at #2, but then they have 10 of the next 11 spots wrapped up in those same rankings and Jim Furyk at #23 is the lowest player in the mix. It is also a little ironic that Furyk may be the most important player in regards to the Americans’ chances because of his experience (this is Furyk’s eighth Ryder Cup) and his ability to grind out results in each format. Furyk has some pressure on him, however, as captain Davis Love III took the veteran over 20th-ranked Hunter Mahan, who has won twice on the PGA Tour this season. Furyk hasn’t won once and dropped a couple leads down the stretch in 2012.
Love III has a number of different pairings he could make with a stacked roster. Woods leads the way, followed by Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker, Furyk, Brandt Snedeker and Dustin Johnson. There are seven major winners on that list and Snedeker is coming off a massive win in the FedEx Cup playoffs. That is why the Americans are -150 favorites going into Medinah, which last held the PGA Championship here in 2006, which was won by Woods (who also won the PGA here in 1999).
Golf Betting Odds: +147
However, the Europeans are always dangerous because they seem to understand the team aspect of golf more than the Americans, which has led to their recent domination of the event. Their list of players can more than hold their own with the Americans, led by world #1 Rory McIlroy, followed by Justin Rose, Paul Lawrie, Graeme McDowell, Francesco Molinari, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Peter Hanson, Martin Kaymer, Nicolas Colsaerts and Ian Poulter. Captain Jose Maria Olazabal has four major winners to count among his crew, but it is, from top to bottom, a very solid group of players.
However, Olazabal could be a little disappointed that some of his big guns struggled in the second half, not in that they were playing badly, but Luke Donald and Lee Westwood were never really in the mix during the FedEx Cup playoffs. European players have always seemed to get a little extra out of the Ryder Cup, and they need a spark. Sergio Garcia, who always loves this type of competition, had a decent year and first emerged on the golf scene as an 18-year-old at Medinah in 1999.
The Americans have to look at the Europeans as a lethal underdog, where they are +130, but the United States just has a little more quality throughout the lineup and if they can get a loud crowd out at Medinah, they’ll wrest the Ryder Cup away from Europe.