2023 Ryder Cup Preview

by Aidan Bennett '24 on November 12, 2023


The Ryder Cup starts this Friday pinning The United States against Europe in their biannual golf showdown. The U.S. are the defending champions, winning in Whistling Straits back in 2021, but they face a very difficult road ahead of them. This year’s battle will be held at Marco Simone Golf Club just outside of Rome, Italy. The home team is historically dominant in the Ryder Cup, winning 10 of the last 12 matches. Europe has been especially dominant at home as they haven’t lost on home soil since 1993 at the Belfry. A major reason for home success has been chalked up to the crowds that come to watch these matches. Unlike your typical boring, stuffy, and apathetic crowd at a golf event, the Ryder Cup allows golf fans to act like real fans for once. No more showing respect to the competitors and all of that nonsense. They are forced to pick a side and do everything they can to get into the kitchen of the competition. Back in 1991 at what was coined the  War on the Shore, American fans were known for throwing out golf balls hit by Americans back into the fairway while stepping on the balls of the Europeans. This is a golf event that even a non-golf fan can get behind. You can sit on your couch with an American beer and root against a bunch of soft little English and French golfers. Honestly, there is nothing better than that in sports. 

While the fans are given credit for the success of the home team, the real advantage comes in the golf course setup. Typically, the Americans hit the ball far but wild and can putt great. The Europeans, however, can hit all of the fairways but are hopeless with the flatstick in their hands. The captain of the home team can use this to their advantage and set the golf course up to play to their teams’ strengths. In 2018, the Europeans made the course incredibly narrow and the rough very long, so the Americans were hacking out of the deep rough while the Euros were fine in the middle of the fairway. This allowed the underdog Europeans to dominate a far superior United States team, winning by a score of 17.5 to 10.5. The same tactics will be used this year by the Euros, making this a tough battle for America. 

Despite some dodgy picks, the American team is far more talented than Europe. They have more firepower which is why they are going to win this weekend. My prediction for the American hero is Justin Thomas, though he is a very controversial pick because he has been playing terribly all year. Thomas may seem undeserving of a pick based on his play this year, but this will be motivation for him. JT has had the last month of people in the media dragging him through the mud and everywhere else. He is going to shut all of them up and go 3–0 this weekend, leading the United States to a 15–13 victory. America currently sits at -120 to win the Ryder Cup, and I absolutely love it. I will be “responsibly” putting my life savings on America to prevail. Another sneaky longshot that I like is the tie bet. There hasn’t been a tie since 1989, which means we are due for one. You can get it right now at +1200; it’s not bad value, and no one is thinking about it as an option. My other fun bet of the week is a hole in one to happen at any time. It’s +400 right now, and there hasn’t been one since 2006. Fire this bet up and enjoy watching the United States display our dominance all over that sad excuse of a continent this weekend.