This week, the biennial golfing clash between the United States of America and Europe takes place at Le Golf National on the outskirts of Paris; the Ryder Cup. After a superb performance back at Hazeltine in 2016, the United States claimed a 17-11 victory over a young European team, the first win for the United States since 2008.

This time around, skippers Jim Furyk of the U.S. and Europe’s Thomas Bjorn will pit their wits and the golfing talents of their team against each other across three dramatic days of golfing action.

As always, the Ryder Cup is one of the biggest betting events in the golfing calendar and there will be plenty of punters looking for a good value bet on this event. Remember, check out what bet365 Sport has to offer and if you are not yet a customer, check out the latest bet365 Sport Welcome Bonus to see what you could get when you do sign up.

In this article, we are going to preview the course, the two teams, the format of the tournament and then we will bring you our tips on some of the key betting markets for the tournament, including of course, who we think will lift the trophy at some time on Sunday afternoon.

Let’s begin though with a little look back through Ryder Cup history.

The Ryder Cup – A Putted History

The original Ryder Cup match began in 1927 and was a game originally between the United States and Great Britain and after sharing the opening four tournaments, the United States began to dominate, with the Great British team winning just one event from 1935 through to 1977, by which point the difference in quality between the two teams was so great that the contest was judged by many to be something of a mismatch.

That changed in 1979, when to make the match more competitive, the GB & Ireland team was increased to include all of mainland Europe. The US won the first two events in this new format relatively easily but a dramatic 14.5 to 13.5 win in 1983, showed that European golfers were closing the gap.

In 1985, the European team claimed their first ever win at The Belfry, winning 16.5 to 11.5 with Sam Torrance famously holing the winning putt. Since then Europe have enjoyed huge success in the event, winning 10 of the subsequent 15 events, indeed since 1985, the United States have only ever won the tournament once on European soil, a 15-13 win back in 1993.

However, a run of three successive defeats at the hand of Europe was ended in Minnesota in 2016 when Davis Love III captained the team (for a second time) to a comprehensive 17-11 win and the American team will know that they only need to draw the match, or win, in order to retain the trophy this year.

Since the match became a Europe v United States event, the European team has 10 wins, compared to 8 wins for the United States with one tie.

Let’s now learn a little more about the venue for this year’s tournament, the Albatros Course at Le Golf National in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines on the outskirts of Paris.

Le Golf National – Albatros Course

Designed by Hubert Chesneau and Robert Von Hagge, work on the course began in July 1987 and the course was opened in October 1990. It is the host venue for the Open de France on the European Tour. In addition to this year’s Ryder Cup it will also serve as a venue for the golf tournament at the 2024 Olympics.

The venue is home to three courses, the Championship Albatros Course, the Aigle course and a nine-hole par three course Oiselet.

The Albatros Course is a 7331-yard, par 71 course that will offer a stern test for the golfers and includes just three par 5 holes (including the 607-yard 14th), as well as two testing par three’s on each of the front and back nine, with the 213-yard second a particularly tough test.

Team U.S.A

Jim Furyk’s team is as follows:

  • Brooks Koepla
  • Dustin Johnson
  • Justin Thomas
  • Patrick Reed
  • Bubba Watson
  • Jordan Spieth
  • Rickie Fowler
  • Webb Simpson
  • Bryson DeChambeau (Captain’s Pick)
  • Phil Mickelson (Captain’s Pick)
  • Tiger Woods (Captain’s Pick)
  • Tony Finau (Captain’s Pick)

Vice Captain’s assisting with Furyk at the tournament will be Steve Stricker, David Duval, Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar. Tiger Woods, originally a vice-captain pick, was selected to play in the tournament following his return to full fitness and form.

Team Europe

  • Francesco Molinari (Italy)
  • Justin Rose (England)
  • Tyrell Hatton (England)
  • Tommy Fleetwood (England)
  • Jon Rahm (Spain)
  • Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland)
  • Alex Noren (Sweden)
  • Thorjorn Olesen (Denmark)
  • Paul Casey (England) – (Captain’s Pick)
  • Sergio Garcia (Spain) – (Captain’s Pick)
  • Ian Poulter (England) – (Captain’s Pick)
  • Henrik Stenson (Sweden) – (Captain’s Pick)

Thomas Bjorn selected four other European professionals to serve as his vice captains at the event, Luke Donald, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell.

Tournament Format

The first two days of games on Friday and Saturday begin with foursome matches in the morning, followed by four fourball matches in the afternoon. The captains will announce their first pairings for the first morning following the opening ceremony for the Ryder Cup, which is held on the Thursday before the tournament starts on the Friday.

The pairings for the following fourball games are announced around lunchtime on the first day, with the morning foursome pairings announced in the evening on Friday. The last fourball pairings will be announced around Saturday lunchtime. Captains are free to select any player from their team for these matches in any pairing.

The final day of action sees all 12 players in each team in action as the final dozen points are decided by 12 singles matches.

The first team to land 14.5 points will win the Cup. The defending champions (United States) only need to land 14 points to retain the trophy in the event of a draw.

Ryder Cup Top Points Scorer Markets

One of the most popular bets on the tournament is the top points scorer for each team. I have given you one tip for both Europe and the United States team’s on this market below.

  • Europe Top Point Scorer – Ian Poulter (10/1)

Having missed the last Ryder Cup, European fans will be thrilled Ian Poulter is back in the team and back in form. Poulter has been the scourge of American teams several times in the past and he has admitted that he lives for the Ryder Cup. While his world ranking may not be as high as some of his team mates, he has the ability to elevate his game to new levels like no other player in the tournament’s recent history and I think at 10/1, he is good value here.

  • U.S.A Top Point Scorer – Brooks Koepke (11/2)

Brooks Koepke has been in sensational form this season with two Major victories to his name and his form is such that I feel he could well be the key man for America here. I expect him to play most of the foursomes and fourballs and I think he will be one of the key players America has down for landing a point in the singles too.

Who will win the Ryder Cup?

The current odds with bet365 (as of Sunday 23rd September at 12pm) were as follows:

  • USA – 5/6 favourites
  • Europe – 5/4
  • Draw – 11/1

While the US have not won on European soil since 1993, this is a hugely strong team featuring many players inside the top ten, plus Tiger Woods, who has returned to form in spectacular fashion over the last few weeks. Woods and Mickelson’s experience, allied to the United States strength in depth, will make them hugely difficult to beat, even on home soil.

Europe’s team is more experienced this time around than at Hazeltine in 2016, but even so the team will require huge inspiration to raise their game against the powerful US team. Home advantage though has proven significant in other tournaments and the European team will be hoping to draw on partisan home support in order to land the win.

In truth, I think this could be one of the closest Ryder Cup events in many years and while the draw is very tempting at 11/1, I am backing this US Team to snatch the win.