Sportsbooks in Las Vegas and around the world believe the United States team will finally return to its prowess ways and defeat the European team in the 2016 Ryder Cup.
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists USA at -175 and Europe at +190. Bovada has the United States an even heavier favorite at -185, while Betfair has the US at -161.
That means bettors backing the US have to put up nearly $2 for every $1 he or she hopes to win. A $100 wager at Bovada would net the bettor $54.05.
Davis Love III, a 21-time winner on the PGA Tour and 1997 PGA champion, will captain the US team. Darren Clarke, one of the most popular players from Northern Ireland in the history of the game and winner of the 2011 Open Championship, heads up Europe.
“This is a year where we feel as though Captain Love has been putting us in a position to succeed,” World Golf Hall of Fame member Phil Mickelson said. “He’s taken input from all parties. He’s making decisions that have allowed us to prepare our best and play our best, and I believe that we will play our best.”
In addition to Mickelson, the US features numerous superstars including Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, and Matt Kuchar. Tiger Woods adds to its star power by serving as a vice-captain.
Rory McIlroy, the 2016 FedEx Cup champion, along with Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, and Lee Westwood, headlines the Europe roster.
The biennial tournament pits 12 players each on Team USA versus Team Europe for three days of various matches.
The Ryder Cup begins tomorrow, September 30, with four alternate shot matches in the morning, followed by four better ball matches in the afternoon. On Saturday, the same formats will be contested but in reverse. The Ryder Cup concludes on Sunday with 12 singles matches.
Team USA plays on home turf this year, with Minnesota’s Hazeltine National Golf Club hosting the esteemed team event.
The key to success in the Ryder Cup is transforming the golfers into a team-first mentality, which differs from the rest of the year where they play for individual accolades. Europe has proven more successful at that in recent years, as the Europeans have won eight of the last 10 Ryder Cups.
Love has been hyping his team, calling his roster “the best golf team maybe ever assembled.” Garcia responded this week, “You don’t win Ryder Cups with your mouth.”
Arnold Palmer’s recent passing will place even more pressure on the Americans to win the Ryder Cup. Palmer, who won 62 times on the PGA Tour and seven major championships, died on September 25 at the age of 87.
Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Palmer did more for golf than perhaps anyone in history. He was charitable throughout his career and continued to help others up until his death.
Team USA wants to close the story on Palmer by keeping the Ryder Cup on American soil for only the fifth time since 1985. The sportsbooks say they will.