Steve Palmer’s Ryder Cup blog: Tournament overview, top scorer and special tips
Racing Post golf expert Steve Palmer spoke exclusively to Coral to give his 2016 Ryder Cup tips ahead the Team USA v Team Europe event at Hazeltine National from September 30th to October 2nd.
A hugely respected pundit in his field, Steve gives his tournament overview, Ryder Cup top scorer tips and picks out an attractive special bet we offer.
Check out Steve’s extensive course and stats guide, alongside player profiles, by clicking the below image:
Two points or fewer has separated the United States and Europe in nine of the last 14 renewals of the Ryder Cup, and for all the bluster emerging from both sides this time, there seems little reason to expect anything other than another close contest.
The States are 4-7 favourites, with Europe 15-8, and the tie at 11-1. The prices look spot-on. The States, courtesy of a slightly stronger side and home advantage, appear the likely winners, but do not expect Europe, gunning for a fourth consecutive victory, to be crushed.
In the nine Ryder Cups between USA and Europe staged Stateside, the Yanks lead 126.5 points to 125.5. The American class of 2016 can edge a little further ahead after another absorbing and tight tussle.
Much debate this year has centred around the supposed gulf in experience between the two teams, but in terms of total Ryder Cup appearances, Europe actually lead USA 28-26, with six of the team having played in at least three previous matches. Five of the States’ team have only one Cup cap to their name. Age-wise, the States are only fractionally older, averaging 33.1 to Europe’s 31.3.
Since Team Europe was created in 1979, replacing Great Britain and Ireland, there have been 18 stagings of the Ryder Cup, with the home team winning 11 of them. A noisy and aggressive Minnesota crowd seem sure to aid the States this week. That, and the fact they have an edge in quality, could prove the difference. The average world ranking of USA is 16.3. Europe’s is 27.8.
The States have failed to justify favouritism in five of the last six times they have had that status on Cup-eve, but they can secure a 15-13 victory this time, a scoreline which is an 8-1 chance with Coral.
Reed and Rose the top scorer punts
Patrick Reed played up to an away crowd on his Ryder Cup debut two years ago while his team were suffering a thrashing, so goodness knows what antics the brash Texan has got in store on home soil if the Americans get in front at Hazeltine.
Reed relished his moment as a rookie, fearlessly hushing the Gleneagles galleries and bursting with patriotic fervour whenever he did something positive. With 24 months more experience and two further US Tour titles under his belt, it is clear Europe have got a raging Ryder Cup bull coming at them this week.
Reed won three and a half points from four matches at Gleneagles, topping the USA scoring charts, and there is every reason to believe the cocksure 26-year-old will threaten a repeat in Minnesota, with Jordan Spieth a likely partner. Reed can be backed at 11-2 with Coral to be top Yank again.
Justin Rose, who has lost just three of his 14 Ryder Cup matches and looks set to team up again with Henrik Stenson in Europe’s best combination, is the value bet for top European honours at 5-1 with Coral. Rose should play five matches and the Olympic champion can feast on points.
Kuchar as top US wildcard “appealing” among specials
Punters have some great insurance on all the Ryder Cup matches this week if their selection flops on the back-nine – Coral will refund stakes as a free bet if your match bet is winning after nine holes before going on to lose.
Those who backed Jordan Spieth to beat Graeme McDowell in the singles of the last match at Gleneagles would have appreciated that money-back special – Spieth dominated on the front-nine before being destroyed on the back.
The most appealing wager in Coral’s raft of Ryder Cup specials is Matt Kuchar to be the top American wildcard at 9-4.
This is a four-runner contest between Kuchar, Rickie Fowler, JB Holmes and Ryan Moore, and Kuchar can dominate. His likely partner – probably for the foursomes and possibly for the fourballs – is world number two Dustin Johnson.
American skipper Davis Love paired Kuchar and Johnson at Medinah when he last captained the side in 2012 and they had a 100 percent record (two points from two matches). It would come as no surprise if Kuchar was trusted with at least three sessions alongside Dustin before the singles. Fowler, Holmes and Moore can be far less assured of action.
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