What a fantastic finish to the PGA season we witnessed on the weekend! Tiger Woods finally captured his long awaited 80th PGA title with a win at the season ending Tour Championship as Justin Rose secured the win in the 2018 Fed Ex Cup.
The golfing action continues this weekend, however, as the 2018 Ryder Cup gets underway from Le Golf National in Paris. We preview the teams and give our betting tips for the event below.
United States and Europe will do battle starting this Friday in a three-round format. Two teams of twelve have been selected by opposing captains, Thomas Bjorn for the European side and Jim Furyk for the United States. The format will run as follows:
- Day 1 (Friday) – 4 foursome (alternate shot) matches and 4 fourball (better ball) matches
- Day 2 (Saturday) – 4 foursome matches and 4 fourball matches
- Day 3 (Sunday) – 12 singles matches
The United States were comfortable winners in the last Ryder Cup back in 2016, however, they have not won in Europe in their last five attempts and have only won their tournament three times in the last 11 events. Europe hold a 11-8 advantage in the Ryder Cup since the tournament changed to include all of Europe rather than just Great Britain and Ireland back in 1979.
This year will be the first time in Ryder Cup history that France has hosted the event, with England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Spain being the only European nations to previously host the cup. The Albertros Course at Le Golf National in Guyancourt in the South Western Suburbs of Paris is described as a 7,331 yard par 72 which features numerous water hazards because of the clay silt of the Parisian basin. There are limited trees on the course but missing the fairways is still extremely damaging with the water and a number of bunkers lining the course.
There is no doubt that the United States come into this tournament with better form and the better looking side on paper. The last two years has seen a massive shift in European golf and just four of the 2016 Euro team will be suiting up this weekend, two of whom are captains’ selections.
Justin Rose will carry the torch for the European side after a stellar 2018 which saw him win one PGA title and finish the season on top of the Fed Ex Cup standings. He has been the most dominant golfer of the year and while he only has one title to show for it, his consistency has been on another level. Rory McIlroy will be another big player for the European side after finding some hot form later in the 2018 PGA season. After winning The Open Championship back in July, Francesco Molinari’s form has dropped away a touch but he along with Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood and Alex Noren make up the rest of the European team ranked inside the top 15.
It's a different story for the United States team, who have just four players outside the top 15 in world rankings currently. Two of those players are Tiger Woods and Tony Finau, who behind Rose are arguably two of the most in form golfers in the world and recently finished second and sixth in the Fed Ex Cup standings. In fact, after Rose, the next 10 golfers in the 2018 Fed Ex Cup standings were all from the United States, eight of whom will be suiting up for the their country this weekend.
There is really no weak link on this United States team apart from possibly Phil Mickelson, who really struggled in the last two PGA Tour events of the season with a T58 at the BMW Championship and a dead last at the Tour Championship. However, even with Mickelson, the United States look incredibly hard to beat here, especially given that the Albatross Course at Le Golf National will play more like a traditional American Parkland course rather than the British Links courses that have given the European side the advantage in the past. Cant see the Americans losing here.
Justin Rose has been fantastic in the last month of play. After being cut from the first Fed Ex Cup playoff event, the Englishman went on to finish second in the next two events before finishing tied for fourth at the Tour Championship to lift the trophy. We think he is capable of scoring the most points for the European side, which might find it tough to score points as a whole.
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