The 2018 Ryder Cup will be the 42nd time the Ryder Cup has taken place, and it will be an historic event as it will be taking place for the first time in France. However, Le Golf National has longed been talked about as a course that would make a brilliant host venue for the biennial battle between the best golfers from the USA and Europe.
First played in 1927, the Ryder Cup was dominated by the USA for over 50 years. That was partly because between 1927 and 1971 it was the USA vs Great Britain, a mismatch by size of population, and one that saw 15 wins for the USA, 3 wins for Great Britain and one tie, in that period.
In 1973, 1975 and 1979 the Ryder Cup became the USA vs Great Britain and Ireland. However, after three more victories for the USA, the teams changed to USA vs Europe in 1979.
Since then, despite the USA winning in 1979, 1981 and 1983, it has Europe who have enjoyed the most success with 10 wins. However, after 6 wins in 7 matches between 2002 and 2014, the USA got their act together on home soil in 2016 to win 17-11.
Europe have won the last five times the Ryder Cup has been played in Europe though, with victories at Valdarama (1997), The Belfry (2002), The K Club (2006), Celtic Manor (2010), and Gleneagles (2014).
Therefore, it’s interesting that the bookies currently make The USA favourites to win the 2018 Ryder Cup.
2018 Ryder Cup Betting
USA 10/11, Europe 13/10, Tie 12/1
As is the norm, both teams also pick a new Captain for each new renewal, and the 2018 Captains are Thomas Bjorn (Europe) and Jim Furyk (USA). Bjorn only played in three Ryder Cup Teams but, whilst Furyk played in an incredible 8 matches, it is still Bjorn who has been on the winning side the most, with 3 wins to Furyk’s two.
Bjorn will also want to maintain that unbeaten record as Captain, and it’s unlikely that sentiment will have any part in his team selection as he tries to regain the Ryder Cup for Europe. The likes of Lee Westwood probably won’t get a Captain’s pick this time, and the European Team has the makings of being a much stronger team than the one that lost at Hazeltine in 2016.
John Rahm will surely make it into Europe’s team through his World Ranking, and the big-hitting Spaniard could prove a massive asset after finishing tenth on his first visit to Golf National last season, and having improved since. That event was won by Tommy Fleetwood, and Europe’s latest number one will be another huge asset judged on his form over the last 12 months. Meanwhile, Tyrell Hatton also looks another passionate young player who will wear Europe’s colours with pride.
Other certainties look to be a hungry again Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Europe’s star of the 2016 Ryder Cup Thomas Pieters, and Matt Fitzpatrick. There’s also World Number 10 Henrik Stenson, Alex Noren and Francesco Molinari, as well as the likes of Ross Fisher, Rafa Cabrero-Bello and Berndt Wiesberger in contention for places, whilst Irishmen Shane Lowry and Paul Dunne could easily catch Bjorn’s eye before final selection.
Of course, the Americans will be no pushovers, and why would they be with the likes of Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and Brooks Koepka to call upon.
However, in the belief that Bjorn will leave no stone unturned in his quest to regain the Ryder Cup, Europe must be the value to continue their home dominance.