Know the Format
Now in its 91st year and 42nd iteration, the Ryder Cup has a very specific tournament format compared to other golf tournaments. During the tournament, teams from the US and Europe, each with 12 players, compete in a variety of matches.
So, on each of the first two days of the tournament, there is a four-match session of fourballs and a four-match session of foursomes. On the final day, there are 12 singles matches.
Unlike a typical golf tournament where individual players compete against each other, this format lends itself to a unique dynamic. In turn, this can have a significant impact on the ultimate outcome of the tournament, so it’s vital that you understand the differences and adjust your betting approach.
Considering the above, let’s look at these matches in more detail:
- Fourball. In these matches, each team is represented by two players who play as a two-man team in a match play format. Also, every team member plays his own ball. During play, every team counts the lowest of its two scores on every hole and the team with the lowest score wins the hole. If the scores are tied, the hole is halved.
- Foursome. In these matches, each team is represented by two players who play as a two-man team in a match play format. However, unlike fourball, every team only plays with one ball, taking turns until the hole is complete. So, player A will drive from the tee, player B will play the second shot, player A the third, and so on. Like with the fourball matches, the team with the lowest score wins the hole and, if the scores are tied, the hole is halved.
- Single. During singles play, one player from every team plays against another player from the other team in a match. The player with the lowest score on a hole wins the hole and, like the other matches, if the scores are tied, the hole is halved.
During the course of the tournament, there are 28 matches, and every match is worth one point. In cases where either players or teams are tied after 18 holes, each team gets half a point. For example, if the US:
- wins 6 of the fourball matches and 5 of the foursome matches on the first two days.
- 7 of the singles matches on the final day,
- And ties two matches.
it would end up with 20 points.
To win the Ryder Cup, a team must have more than 14½ points of the total 28 points available. So, in our example above, the US would have won the Ryder Cup. If the scores are tied at 14 points a team, the team who previously won the Ryder Cup retains it.
Know the Course
The next thing you should consider before placing your bets is the course that will host the tournament. Why is this important? Well, the course can have an impact on players’ performance and the outcome of the tournament. For example, some parkland courses like Augusta National may favor long hitters, while links courses like St Andrews, with bunkers and hazards abound, could place a premium on accuracy.
When you know the course and how it plays, you'll then be able to determine which players it will likely suit best. And from here it's simple, when it suits a specific team more, it's more likely that they will pull through with the win.
Here, it's also helpful to look at some past tournaments hosted at the course, and which types of players did well in these tournaments.
Know the Players
Apart from a unique format, the Ryder Cup also has a very specific way in which players are chosen.
For 2021, all US players had the opportunity to earn points from the start of 2019 until after the BMW Championship which is scheduled for 29 August 2021. So, after 29 August 2021, the top 6 players will make it on the team. The team captain can then choose a further 6 players or captain’s picks.
Likewise, the European team will comprise the top four players from the European Points List, followed by the top five players on the World Point List, and three captain’s picks.
Although the roster of players will only be available just before the tournament starts, you can get a good idea of who's going to play if you look at the points lists. In turn, this allows you to gauge the teams’ relative strength and which players are likely to do well on the course. You'll also be able to look at the specific players’ past performances to get an idea of how they will perform in the Ryder Cup.
Know the Bets
As mentioned earlier, betting on the Ryder Cup differs significantly from how you would normally bet on any other golf tournament. So, while it’s certainly possible to bet on an individual player like you would in another golf tournament, there are a variety of other bets available. It’s crucial that you understand these different bets.
Why is this important? Well, the main goal of betting on the Ryder Cup is obviously to win and make a return on your bet. So, you have to make sure that you get good value and reasonable odds for every bet you place. As a result, you need to understand what where your best odds are.
With that in mind, let's take a look at some of these in more detail.
Who Will Win the Ryder Cup?
This is one of the simplest bets you can place and is similar to the type of bets you’ll place in other golf tournaments. Except, here you won't bet on a specific player, but you’ll bet on the team you think is most likely to win.
The challenge is that, as mentioned earlier, you don't know with certainty who the players on each team will be. Because of this, it's challenging to pick a winner that far in advance. At most, you can argue that The US will be favorites because, for instance, the tournament will be played on American soil.
However, you can also look at the respective players on the teams and their performance to figure out who the strongest team will be.
Who Will Make the Team?
Another bet you can place in advance is on who will make the team. As described earlier, there’s a peculiar way in which Ryder Cup teams are selected, so this could also be a challenging bet. However, if you look at the points rankings and follow the relevant Ryder Cup news in the press, you can form an idea of who the team picks will be.
Apart from betting on who will ultimately win the Ryder Cup, you also have the ability to bet on specific individual matches. So, you can bet on any of the foursome or fourball matches that take place during the first two days of the tournament. This can be somewhat tricky because you don't always know who the team captain will pair in every team.
You can also bet on the singles matches that take place on the last day of the tournament. This type of betting is similar to other sports betting in that you’ll pick a winner in a specific match. The problem here is that the pairings aren't usually announced until the night before the final matches.
The benefit of betting on specific matches is that it gives you more options. For example, you might think that Europe is the favorite to win, but you think that a specific American pairing will do well in an individual match. You can then place a wager on this specific match. Also, keep in mind that, although the tournament has one outcome, you can bet on each of the 28 matches.
Most and Total Points Scored
It's also possible for you to bet on which player scores the most points on each team and which player scores the most points at the tournament overall. In some cases, these bets are also separated into additional bets in respect of captain’s picks and rookies. Here, you can consider the players’ past performances to gauge who is likely to do well.
Apart from the bets above, there are also many other things you can bet on when it comes to the Ryder Cup. These can include everything from bets on who will hit the opening tee shot to which player will sink the winning putt.
Hopefully, this post helped illustrate some tips you can use and increase your odds of winning when betting on the Ryder Cup. Ultimately, the key is that you should do the necessary research on the players, the course, and what do you want to bet on. When you do this, you’ll be able to place successful bets on the Ryder Cup.