The 43rd Ryder Cup Matches will be held this weekend at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wis. Team Europe has won nine of the last 12 Ryder Cups and bring the trophy stateside as the defending winners. Team USA will field its youngest-ever, but arguably most talented, team. Ten of its 12 members rank in the top 13 in the world rankings, including six major champions. The event was supposed to take place last year, but was postponed due to COVID-19. Team USA is a -190 favorite at BetMGM with Team Europe at 2/1.
Bryson DeChambeau went 0-fer in his debut Ryder Cup appearance in 2018. He was paired with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, who were both far from their best form at the time, and lost both foursomes matches. DeChambeau has not done himself any favors in terms of developing a strong rapport with any of his teammates. Captain Steve Stricker is going to have to do some experimenting with potential partners to find the right mix because DeChambeau is too talented to leave on the bench and can intimidate almost any opponent with his length off the tee. Perhaps fellow Dallas resident Scottie Scheffler will be the one asked to get DeChambeau to play nice in the sandbox.
It is hard to dub a player as the leader of Team USA after just one Ryder Cup appearance, but Justin Thomas was the clear standout of the 2018 American team that took a 17.5-10.5 drubbing in France. Thomas went 4-1 at Le Golf National, which included a Sunday singles win over Rory McIlroy and a 3-1 mark in a partnership with his long-time junior golf bestie, Jordan Spieth. Expect that pairing to continue at Whistling Straits because, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Other than the Thomas-Spieth tandem, Tony Finau was about the only other bright spot for Team USA at the last Ryder Cup. In a team room in which there is much tension, Finau is one of the only players who is universally liked by his teammates, and that could go a long way for team chemistry.
Team USA to lift the trophy, -190
Team USA 15.5-12.5 exact score, 10/1
Team USA 16-12 exact score, 10/1
Backers of the European side are completely justified and certainly have recent history on their side, but this looks like the time for Team USA’s younger core to come together. The distance advantage across the board will come into play here.
Viktor Hovland Top European Scorer, 6/1
The key to backing anyone in this market is finding a player who will go all five sessions. Rory McIlroy is certainly likely to do so for the Europeans, but his form has been off this year. Jon Rahm, as the World No. 1, is likely to be called upon as well, but he is recovering from illness. Hovland has international match-play experience and looks to be a good fit for this course. The Norwegian Ryder Cup rookie ranks fifth on the PGA Tour for SG: Off-The-Tee and 15th for SG: Approach.
Paul Casey -110 over Collin Morikawa, Most Points Scored
Morikawa said he is over his recent back issues, but he has been well out of form since becoming the Champion Golfer of the Year at The Open Championship in July.
He also may only play the two foursomes sessions with Dustin Johnson and his Sunday singles. Casey is likely to play both fourball sessions and perhaps one alternate shot, along with his singles match.