Decision time draws closer for Ryder Cup captains

August 8, 2016News Standard

Ryder Cup captains Darren Clarke and Davis Love have little time remaining before they must make their selections for team Europe and USA respectively. With two wins a piece from this year’s major tournaments, it could not be more evenly matched this year, as Europe look to claim a record fourth straight Ryder Cup victory. With the top eight ranked plyers from both sides of the Atlantic gaining automatic selection for the event starting at the end of September, it remains to be seen who the Captains will select as their much speculated upon wildcards.

For the American team, it seems incredible that the four players representing them at the upcoming Olympics in Rio, are outside the automatic qualification places at present. Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Patrick Reed and Matt Kucher all face an anxious wait to learn their Ryder Cup fate. Despite such uncertainty, bookmakers Betway offer the US team as the 4/6 favourites in the Ryder Cup odds, with Europe’s odds of winning in 2016 currently at 6/4. As far as wildcards go for Clarke, experienced campaigners such as Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell are all potential candidates, with newcomer Andrew Johnston a potential outsider for a pick.

Despite many of the world’s best having withdrawn from the upcoming Olympics due to concerns over the much publicised Zika virus, the event could still go some way to determining the line-ups in Minnesota come September. After his win at the Open Championship earlier this summer, Henrik Stenson is going for gold for Sweden, and is the current favourite with Betway, with odds of 11/2. Fellow Europeans Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose are also at the forefront of the betting tips, with odds of 7/1 and 12/1 respectively.

After his first major win at the recent US PGA, Jimmy Walker will most likely line up for Love’s team, with the home side keen to banish memories from Medinah in 2012, as well as from Gleneagles just two years ago. The US team were favourites in the Ryder Cup odds four years ago, before a Jose Maria Olazabal inspired European team produced a stunning comeback to claim victory. In Scotland in 2013, it was more comfortable for the hots, who ran out 16 ½ points to 11 ½ winners.

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