2021 Ryder Cup Preview And Predictions
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2021 Ryder Cup Preview And Predictions

In a similar vein to the 2018 edition, many of the world's top-ranked players will be on display at Whistling Straits, with 14 of the world's top 16 featuring in the Ryder Cup this weekend. Europe are the defending champions and have dominated in recent times with seven wins from the last nine editions, however the 43rd editions from Whistling Straits is expected to be a much tighter affair. Check out our comprehensive preview and predictions for what should be another thrilling encounter between the USA and Europe.



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Breakdown Of The Teams

On paper, the USA look the far superior side, though Ryder cup history would suggest it’s seldom as straightforward as that. 

Europe naturally have an advantage over their opponents, simply due to the fact that all their players also feature heavily on the PGA Tour, held in the States, meaning they’re well versed in the courses and what it takes to win over the pond, and with Whistling Straights playing as much more of a links course than many others, this should be a really even battle. 

Europe regained the cup at Le National in 2018, with a 17 ½ - 10 ½ thrashing, though that French track was very much tailored to the European style at the time with short and narrow fairways effectively negating the power of the Americans. 

This is a challenging Dye design, with intimidating tee and approach shots, and iron play is going to be imperative around here, with the top three players for Greens in Regulation finishing in the top four when this course played host to the 2015 PGA Championship. 




European Team

PlayerAppearancesW-L-HPairs: W-L-HSingles: W-L-HRanking
Jon Rahm11-2-00-2-01-0-01
Viktor Hovland
Ryder Cup Rookie
13
Rory McIlroy511-9-49-7-32-2-115
Tyrrell Hatton11-2-01-1-00-1-019
Paul Casey44-3-53-2-31-1-223
Matt Fitzpatrick10-2-00-1-00-1-027
Lee Westwood1020-18-617-11-63-7-034
Tommy Fleetwood14-1-04-0-00-1-036
Shane Lowry
Ryder Cup Rookie
40
Sergio Garcia922-12-718-8-64-4-143
Ian Poulter614-6-29-6-15-0-149
Bernd Wiesberger
Ryder Cup Rookie
61



USA Team

Player AppearancesW-L-HPairs: W-L-HSingles: W-L-HRanking
Dustin Johnson47-9-04-8-03-1-02
Colin Morikawa
Ryder Cup Rookie
3
Patrick Cantlay
Ryder Cup Rookie
4
Xander SchauffeleRyder Cup Rookie5
Justin Thomas14-1-03-1-01-0-06
Bryson DeChambeau10-3-00-2-00-1-07
Brooks Koepka24-3-13-3-01-0-19
Tony Finau12-1-01-1-01-0-010
Harris EnglishRyder Cup Rookie11
Jordan Spieth37-5-27-2-20-3-014
Daniel BergerRyder Cup Rookie16
Scottie SchefflerRyder Cup Rookie21



European Domination

Europe have had the run of the mill in recent years, winning nine of the last 12 renewals, though it’s a much more balanced W3-L3 when on American soil as home advantage tends to count for quite a bit. 

However, as mentioned, this is arguably the most ‘European’ track in the United States, and we’d expect that home advantage to be somewhat nullified.

Experience A Factor

Experience can also count for a lot, and while the Americans have the more talented side, with all of their 12 players from the top 21 in the world rankings, while Europe only have four fitting in that category, it should also be noted that half of the American side are featuring in their first Ryder Cup. 

The team with more rookies in their side have only won four of the 19 Ryder Cups since 1981, while a team with fewer than four rookies in their side when the opposition has had more than that, have won nine of the 11 times this has occurred since 1979 (includes one draw).

Collin Morikawa Top American Points Scorer

With that said, it may not be too bad of a strategy to look at the more inexperienced Ryder Cup players for top points scorer, especially on the US team. 

Indeed, six of the last seven top scorers or co-top points scorers for the US have played a maximum of one Ryder Cup prior to that accolade, with two of the last three (Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed) being on debut when they won. 

While that doesn’t necessarily narrow it down too much, with nine of their 12 players having played one or fewer, it does usher us towards Collin Morikawa for this market. 

On a course that requires accuracy with the irons, Morikawa can thrive having led the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Approach. 

While admittedly he doesn’t have any course pedigree to fall back on, that didn’t stop him taking his maiden Open Championship at Royal St George’s, and in many ways this course feels almost tailor-made for the young American, and he gets the backing to continue the trend of inexperienced top points scorers for America.




Paul Casey Or Sergio Garcia Top European Points Scorer

It has worked slightly differently for the Europeans over the years, with 11 of their 12 top or co-top points scorers since the turn of the century having played at least two Ryder Cups beforehand. 

It’s therefore unsurprising that Captain Padraig Harrington has 15 previous Ryder Cup appearances from his three picks, even if one is making his debut this year. 

All in all, Europe (38) have over three times as many Ryder Cup appearances than their opponents (12), and that may count for a lot. It’s surprising, then, to see four of the top five in the betting market for Europe either making their debut or second appearance here (Rahm, Hovland, Hatton, Fleetwood), while the other (McIlroy) is not showing his best form at the minute and looks far too short to get behind. 

English duo Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter are very unlikely to play all five matches over the weekend, with Paul Casey and Sergio Garcia looking like the best value in this market. 

Casey has proven difficult to be over the years, losing just three of his 12 matches, while Garcia is the top Ryder cup points scorer of all time, and is well worth getting behind.




Europe To Win The Ryder Cup

If this were to be played on European soil, despite the gulf in class between the teams the Europeans would be the clear favourites, with the US losing each of the last six off their shores. 

And while this being American soil levels the playing field slightly, the hosts are far too short to get behind considering their relative inexperience. 

The course will not only suit the visitors in terms of style, but with all of them having featured heavily on the PGA tour this year, there’s very little that’s going to surprise them and Team Europe look to be by far the better value outfit.

PREDICTIONS:

COLIN MORIKAWA TOP AMERICAN POINTS SCORER

SERGIO GARCIA TOP EUROPEAN POINTS SCORER

PAUL CASEY TOP EUROPEAN POINTS SCORER

EUROP TO WIN THE RYDER CUP



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