Team Europe Tipped For Gleneagles Glory
Team Europe are firm favourites in the Ryder Cup 2014 Outright Betting but can McGinley and his gang deliver at Gleneagles?
It’s the premier team tournament in golf, and the one that every player from Europe or the United States wants to be a part of. The Ryder Cup dates back to 1927 but took on its current form in 1979 when players from mainland Europe were admitted. Two teams of twelve compete over two days of foursomes and four-balls before the drama of Sunday’s twelve singles match-ups. The USA dominated in the early years of the tournament, but Europe has won five of the last six.
This year, Gleneagles becomes the second Scottish venue to host the Ryder Cup, after Muirfield in 1973. The PGA Centenary Course, which opened in 1993, is not the most prestigious of the three courses at Gleneagles, but it has undergone significant redevelopment ahead of this year’s tournament, and is the longest of the three. It has a typical links layout, with enormous greens, cavernous bunkers and unforgiving rough, and players unused to blustery conditions will find the going tough.
In The Bunker
The USA has it all to do if they are to reverse their recent Ryder Cup fortunes. Captain Tom Watson was not helped by the PGA schedule, which forced him to make his wildcard picks before Chris Kirk and Billy Horschel hit spectacular form in the FedEx Cup play-offs.
There’s no Tiger Woods this year, a number of his players go into this tournament out of form and a blustery coastal Scottish venue will not suit many of them. At 9/5 in the Tournament Outright market, team USA make no appeal.
With this year’s tournament being played on a links course, home advantage should be more significant than usual as the European side is full of players comfortable with that style of golf.
And despite the omission of Luke Donald, they have the edge in terms of Ryder Cup experience over a USA team which includes three rookies and three more players who’ve only played this event once. Europe are solid favourites and should be backed at 8/13 in the Tournament Outright market.
The last couple of Ryder Cups were won by a single point, but the previous four were won by three points or more, and given the strength of the European side and their home advantage, we can expect a decent-sized margin of victory. Back Europe -2.5 at 5/4 in the Handicap (-2.5) market.
There are three Englishmen with Ryder Cup experience in the European team, but the one to rely on is Ian Poulter. He hasn’t had a great season, but there is no tougher competitor in match-play golf. In the Top English Points Scorer market he is up against Justin Rose and Lee Westwood, but he outscored both of them in 2008 and 2012 and outscored Westwood in 2010 when Rose wasn’t picked. Back Poulter to finish as top-scoring Englishman at 13/8.