Ryder Cup All Access
PICK: pinnacle @ 100 (True) - Ryder Cup All Access
DATE: September 30, 2011 - 3:00 AM
STAR RATING: 5.0
EXPERT: Matt Fargo
EVALUATION: Loss (-300)
Overall Ryder Cup Outcome
The Ryder Cup heads back to Europe and Le Golf National in Paris as the United States looks to retain the cup after its 17-11 win at Hazeltine two years ago. That snapped a string of three straight European victories as well as eight of the previous 10. The United States has not won on European soil since 1993 at The Belfry and prior to that, it was 1981 at Walton Heath Golf Club. Clearly, the Europeans have a distinct home advantage overall and they also have a course edge here since the Open De France is contested here with numerous Ryder Cup players participating from the European side.
There are similarities between East Lake, where the TOUR Championship was just played, and Le Golf National and the biggest one is the rough. The key to success at the former is to drive the ball straight and avoid the rough and that is the same at Le Golf National where errant tee shots will come with a penalty. That is bad news for a lot of Americans that like to bomb the ball and it showed last week with Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson finishing in four of the bottom five spots. Driving accuracy is going to be huge this week and the Americans are at a huge disadvantage.
Rickie Fowler is the most accurate on the team as he is ranked No. 52. No one else is ranked better than No. 93 and after that the rankings are 94, 98, 129, 138, 141, 141, 158, 180, 182 and 192. On the European side, seven of the 12 players are ranked in the top 100 in accuracy including the most accurate player in the World in Henrik Stenson. This course is short and narrow which takes the driver, a main weapon for many U.S. players, out of play on a good number of holes.
The Europeans have five rookies compared to three for the United States so it is not a huge disadvantage. While the home side has a number of advantages in the intangibles, it is hard to ignore the talent on the United States side. 11 of the 12 players are ranked within the top 17 of the OWGR while the Europeans only have five ranked in the top 17. The lowest ranked golfer for the U.S. is Phil Mickelson at No. 25 while Europe has four players ranked outside the top 25.
Putting everything together and it looks like we could have a classic and closely contested match. That being said, the underdog Europeans have the value but the United States are favored for a reason based on talent so picking a side is probably not the way to go. Instead, we will be going with the outcome in points and we can get some very good returns in a close match.
All for 1 unit.
USA Wins 14.5-13.5 +1,080
14-14 Draw +1,180
Europe Wins 14.5-13.5 +1,120
Friday Fourball Matches - 1* ($100) Unit Each
7102 Rose/Rahm -140 over 7101 Koepka/Finau
This looks to be the strongest European pairing in the morning matches as World No. 1 Justin Rose was the smart move to go out first. While many thought he would be paired with Henrik Stenson, a pairing with Rahm makes sense as he loves the spotlight and getting him out first with the best player in the world will calm any nerves quickly. While Finau has been solid, he might be in over his head in this match as he is ahead of only Mickelson in accuracy off the tee.
7103 Johnson/Fowler -130 over 7104 McIlroy/Olesen
As mentioned in the overall preview, accuracy is going to be huge this week and the pairing of Johnson and Fowler is perfect. Fowler is the most accurate of all the Americans and while Johnson tends to spray it, in this format, as long as Rickie is safe, DJ can get after it. The same cannot be said on the other side as McIlroy is the worst of the Europeans off the tee and Olesen has been spotty at best here and is also not very accurate off the tee.
7107 Reed/Woods -112 over 7108 Molinari/Fleetwood
This is the first time Reed and Woods will play together here and they should be a perfect fit. Reed has the fire for this event that can keep Tiger rolling along in what could be a very dominant duo throughout if they come through here. Molinari is steady but he has not been playing as well of late. Fleetwood is a rookie and while he has shown the ability to go low, he also can go the other way. Both are accurate but the intimidation factor could very well be the difference here.