UA-33754892-1 Archives for 21 September 2014 | Jason Kelly Golf

Jason Kelly Golf

Golf Betting Tips

The Ryder Cup

The only thing predictable about the Ryder Cup is its unpredictability. Favourites, form, course suitability, weather, trends, strength of team, strength of captain; basically any facility one would like to use to help predict the winner have been proven time and time again to be irrelevant.

Here is why. It is 18 holes of high pressure, high intensity matchplay. Anything can happen. Players react differently with some using the heightened state to reach new levels of performance and some imploding.

Here is a potential example. Let’s say Jim Furyk gets drawn to play, let’s say, Victor Dubuisson in Sunday’s singles. Now on paper Furyk is a Major winner who has career earnings in excess of $60m and has rarely been outside the world’s top 15 for 15 years. Rarely does he not show up and contend in big events. He is a specialist on tough courses and has a very solid all around game. Not only does he have 20 years experience of top level golf and vast knowledge of how to manage himself under extreme pressure, but this will be his 9th Ryder Cup and he is in great form. Victor Dubuisson won in Turkey last year and finished 2nd in Dubai and in the WGC World Matchplay. This is his first Ryder Cup and he has been invisible for a lot of this season. The course is set up with thick rough so this should suit the ultra accurate Furyk. Some may say, “Hang on, Victor has an unreal short game.” Well, he would rank 160th on the PGA Tour, where as Furyk ranks number 1. People kind of got caught up in the hype after his two lucky recovery shots against Day in the final of the WGC Matchplay and base this opinion on that. On paper there should be only one winner. But, come Sunday, if they are drawn to play each other, would you feel comfortable backing Furyk at odds on? I wouldn’t. And this is why the Ryder Cup is unique. Underdogs will make names for themselves and heroes will fall.

This is the story throughout and always will be. Kaymer in 2012 was in rank form and ended up just hanging on to sneak into the team. There were rumours he wanted to stand down as he saw himself as a liability. He only played one four ball game before his singles. He lost that game comfortably and his worst fears seemed to be becoming reality. Kaymer ended up winning his singles match, holing the putt that won the 2012 Ryder Cup and ended up being the poster boy of the European victory. Everything else was forgiven and forgotten. Other players on the US team won 3 or even 4 points before losing their singles and went home villains. As much as it brings jubilation it can bring some serious heartache too.

So if the Ryder Cup is basically a toss of coin then surely we take the Americans at 7/4. That has to be the value right? Well, that was my initial thought. Back them at 7/4 and maybe trade the stake out at evens and have them running as a free bet. Sounds good but then the research started. For us to trade out at evens team USA will have to have the lead at some point. Seems very realistic but then you look back at previous matches on European soil and it doesn’t look quite so easy.

The last time the USA won a session on European soil was at Celtic Manor when they won the opening four balls. This session was severely hampered by heavy rain. Europe regained the lead by the end of day 1. Before this it was 1993 when USA were behind all week before winning the singles 7.5 to 4.5 to win. The last time team USA lead on European soil at the end of a session was in 1989, when they won the day 1 four balls, but again were behind at the end of day 1. So history suggests that chances to trade out on team USA on European soil are limited. If they had started at 7/4 in all of the European Ryder Cups since 1989 you will have only been able to trade out once at that would have been in 1993, late on in the singles. Our only reassurance being that Tom Watson was captain in 1993!

So what’s the play? Well, I think team USA’s chances revolves around Phil Mickelson. If he has a good Ryder Cup I think USA win and he has had some great results in Scotland the last couple of years. He is the USA’s leader and players will look up to and feed off him. Last time Woods didn’t play was 2008 at Valhalla and the USA cruised to victory. Maybe Woods will not be so badly missed and it may be a better ’team’ as a result. I think Dustin Johnson is perhaps a bigger loss.

The way I see it is Europe overachieve in the Ryder Cup for two reasons. They grow up playing a lot more matchplay and their team spirit seems to carry them a long way. Players like Poulter, who has never lost in 15 matches, have been key to create this morale. However, I can’t see Poulter having a good Ryder Cup. To find form from no where with the weight of expectation on him would be an incredible, incredible feat. Despite his Ryder Cup reputation any American would love to play him. It’s a no lose situation against a player in very poor form.

The USA appear to be the better team of individual players. Europe traditionally have been the team with the better morale. I think this American team could really bond under a Captain who will get a lot of respect and players will want to listen to. Europe have some issues with Rory and GMac and some of the other players have inflated egos. Will Westwood find form? There’s no guarantee, he had an ok finish to the regular season but like Poulter, did not make it to the second FedEx Playoff event . Will Gallacher, Donaldson and Dubuisson perform under this level of pressure. They are all kind of unproven. Apart from Spieth, who is struggling a little for recent form, and Simpson who was on fire at the start of the year before fizzling out a little, there are very few question marks over the US team. However, the top end of the European Team does appear stronger than USA, but I like the look of depth better about the USA.

Therefore, I go back to my original plan, but without the trade out. In what appears to be a toss of a coin with the factors of form, course suitability, weather and strength of team not appearing to really favour either side and maybe strength of captain and the price favouring the USA, I see them as the bet. I know I said these factors are relatively irrelevant, they do lead me to believe we are getting some value taking 7/4 team USA. My prediction is for it to remain close throughout with the US taking the singles to sneak a win.

Ryder Cup

4 points USA to win the Ryder Cup @ 7/4 (-4 points)

Ryder Cup Specials

2 points Phil Mickelson to be Top Scorer for Team USA @ 13/2 (-2 points)
2 points Jimmy Walker to be Top USA Rookie @ 7/4
(Spieth and Reed) (-2 points)
2 points Justin Rose to be Top English Points Scorer @ 6/4
(Poulter and Westwood) (+3 points)

2014 running total =  -36.9 points. This week’s investment so far 10 points. This weeks P&L = -5 points

2013 total - 24.22 points
2012 total +150.36 points
2011 total +370.78 points
2010 total +189.33 points

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My advice comes with a point system to rate the strength of a tip. A 1 point bet means placing your usual stake, so if you would consider your normal bet being £10 then a point signifies £10.