Americans Obvious Underdogs at Ryder Cup

If the United States team is going to finally reclaim the golf betting on an American squad that has been beaten by the Europeans every time out since 2002.

The United States last won the Ryder Cup back in 1999, when they edged the Europeans 14.5 to 13.5 at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. Since then it’s been all about Europe; they took back the trophy at The Belfry in England in 2002, and defended their championship back-to-back at Oakland Hills and Ireland’s K Club.

And those last two events weren’t even close, as the Europeans won each time by a margin of 18.5 to 9.5. So what will the Americans do differently this time around in order to come up with a Ryder Cup victory at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky? Well, they’re going to inject some new blood into the process, with six first-time participants.

Those Ryder Cup rookies for the United States are Ben Curtis, J.B. Holmes, Anthony Kim, Hunter Mahan, Steve Stricker, and Boo Weekley. Holmes, Mahan, and Stricker were all captain’s picks, as was Chad Campbell, who will be making his third appearance at the event. Campbell has a 1-3-2 record in Ryder Cup play in his career.

Rounding out the USA’s roster will be Stewart Cink, Phil Mickelson, and Kenny Perry. None of those Ryder Cup vets has a winning record; Cink and Mickelson come closest at 3-5-4 and 9-12-4, respectively. Perry is 0-2-0 in limited Ryder Cup play, while Leonard is winless at 0-3-5, and Furyk is 6-12-2 in five tourneys.

Over on the European side there are just four rookies: Soren Hansen, Graeme McDowell, Justin Rose, and Oliver Wilson. Of the rest of the squad only three have losing records in Ryder Cup play – Padraig Harrington (7-8-2), Miguel Angel Jimenez (1-3-0), and Robert Karlsson (0-1-2). Paul Casey (3-1-2) has had limited success in his two Cup appearances, with Ian Poulter (1-1-0) and Henrik Stenson (1-1-1) both at .500.

It’s Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood, though, that have helped make the Europeans dominant lately. Garcia is 14-4-2 through four Ryder Cup appearances, while Westwood is 14-8-3 in five trips to the event. Overall the Euros have 20 Ryder Cup appearances and a 41-27-12 record; the Americans have 19 appearances and a mark of 19-37-17.

And with that disparity in overall records to draw upon the Europeans are pegged as the -135 favorites to win the Ryder Cup once again this week. The United States are listed at +105 to get the victory on their home turf, with the draw odds at +1000. If Woods was healthy would his presence have been enough to make the Americans the favorites instead? Possibly, but over his career he is still just 10-13-2 as a Ryder Cup participant.

In Woods’ absence Mickelson is expected to lead the United States at Valhalla, and he’s listed as the +450 favorite to pick up the most points for his squad. Furyk is next on that list at +500, with both Kim and Leonard at +750, and each of Cink, Perry, and Stricker at +800. Mahan (+1000), Weekley (+1400), and Campbell (+1600) follow on the list, with both Curtis and Holmes pegged as +1800 long shots to lead the USA in points.

Garcia, not surprisingly, is the +400 favorite to lead the Europeans in points this week, with both Harrington and Westwood at +500, and Stenson at +700. Karlsson, Rose, and Casey follow at +900, Jimenez and Poulter are at +1200, McDowell is at +1800, and Hansen is at +2200. Finally, Wilson is well back at +5000 odds to lead the Europeans.

If you’d rather do some more traditional golf betting this week you could always focus on the Viking Classic, which will be played opposite the Ryder Cup at Annandale Golf Club in Madison, Mississippi. Campbell won that event last year, but obviously he won’t be around to try and defend his title. Instead, Ken Duke, Rory Sabbatini, David Toms and Heath Slocum are the +2000 co-favorites. Slocum won this tournament back in 2005.

Check the BetUS PGA lines and props for the Ryder Cup.