Ryder Cup Betting Offers 2020

usa and britain golf ballGolf is often seen as a possibly the most individual of all the top sports. Many even accuse golfers of not caring about national pride, witnessed when a lot of professionals refused to go to the 2016 Olympics. There is one major exception to this rule however, the Ryder Cup. This team event is contested every two years between the best golfers from the USA and Europe, alternating between the two continents. The cup caps the end of the golf season coming after all four majors and generally sees some the world’s best golfers at their seasons best.  The Ryder Cup in 2020 is the 43rd installment and will be held at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, USA.

Originally contested between Britain and the USA the event expanded to include all of Europe in 1979. The event was established in 1927 and is today the most prestigious match play team tournament in the world. Historically the Ryder Cup has seen some great battles and with continental pride at stake it tends to have a very different atmosphere to the stroke play majors. Below are all the top deals ante-post and through the event with scheduling info and event history further down.

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2020 Ryder Cup Schedule

Date Time (GMT) Round Coverage
Tuesday 22th September From 17:00 Practice 1
Wednesday 23th September From 17:00 Practice 2
Thursday 24th September From 17:00 Practice 3
Friday 25th September From 14:30 Day 1 Sky Sports & BBC
Saturday 26th September From 14:30 Day 2 Sky Sports & BBC
Sunday 27th September From 14:30 Day 3 Sky Sports & BBC

Ryder Cup Format

Qualification and Team Selection

golf clubs selection of irons

In the early days the Ryder Cup selection process was similar to cricket and other sports with an American and British selection committee that would pick the players. Over time this has evolved into a system where the top ranked players are selected automatically with the captain picking the rest of the team. Europe and America have slightly different selection criteria.

The European system selects the top 4 players from the Ryder Cup European points list, points are earned from previous results in the Race to Dubai tournaments. The top four players from the Ryder Cup world points list (who haven’t already qualified above) are also automatically selected. This is based on total world ranking points earned in the previous calendar year. Finally, the captain selects a further 4 players (up from 3 in 2016) and is announced at the end of August, this makes up the final team of 12 players.

The USA select 8 leading players from the Ryder Cup points list, this is made from results at the previous two years of major championships (the current year earning double points), World Golf and Players Championships and PGA tour events. One point is given roughly for every $1,000 earned. The remaining four places are selected by the captain.

The Ryder Cup is a professional only event and is only open to players on respective European or PGA Tours.

Captains

Arnold PalmerThe USA team captain is selected by the PGA of America executive committee with the Europe captain picked by the European Tour selection committee. Although in the early days captains were also selected as players these days captains are non-playing. Their primary duties are to meet to decide the order of play on the first two days and choose the team line up. Arnold Palmer was the last captain to play in 1963 and although modern captains don’t play all of them have contributed as players previously. The exception being the British captain John Taylor in 1933.

Captains also select vice captains to assist in organisng the tournament as well as motivating players, discussing tactics, etc.

The 2018 European captain wass Thomas Bjørn and the USA captain was Jim Furyk.  The USA had three vice captains, all members of the Task Force set up after 2014, these are Tiger Woods, Davis Love III (2016 captain) and Steve Stricker. Europe had five vice captains: Robert Karlsson, Pádraig Harrington, Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood.

There are now almost as many non-playing team members as players!

Tournament

rydercupThe Ryder Cup is a match play tournament; this means players earn a point for winning a hole rather than in stroke play where players are ranked based on the lowest number of strokes. This means the play is far more tactical, captains simply need their players to win enough points rather having the lowest number of stokes overall. It is quite possible to win a match with a higher number of strokes than your opponent so long as you win more holes.

The tournament proper takes place over three days, Friday through Sunday. In this time 28 matches are played over 18 holes. The winner of a hole scores one point for their team, half a point is awarded for a tie, the winning team is simply the team with the most points. If there is a tie overall there is no playoff system, the Ryder Cup is simply retained by the current holders.

The format of the Ryder Cup has changed in its history, which you can read about further down, but has remained consistent since the event was expanded to include all of Europe in 1979. Days 1 and 2 consist of 4 foursome and 4 fourball matches (see below) with day 3 made up of 12 singles matches between all the team members.

ryder cup split usa and europe flag

The captains decide the order of play, with 4 fourball matches played in the morning and 4 foursome matches played in the afternoon on the first two days. An individual player can play a maximum of five out of the 28 matches, two foursomes, two fourballs and their own singles match. This means a player can play both in the morning and afternoon on the first two days.

The first team to 14 1/2 points wins, all matches are 18 holes.

Foursomes and Fourballs

golf signpost with various play formats

Foursome matches are played between two teams of two golfers. Players play the same ball alternating shots through the hole, one player tees off on odd-numbered holes and the other on even-numbered holes, the winner being the team with the lowest number of shots for a given hole and the lowest number of points overall.

Fourball matches are also played by two teams of two but here each golfer plays with their own ball. The golfer in the team with the lowest number of strokes on a hole is counted with the higher score discounted. The winning team from each foursome or fourball matches wins a point overall for the team, if tied each team gets half a point.

Singles

golfer teeing off

This is very straight forward, players from each team are paired off and play over 18 holes. The player with the highest number of points from 18 holes wins one point for their team, tied games give ½ each to each team.

Singles matches are often the most fun to watch. Here the golfers are more in their comfort zone as they are playing on their own, yet this is also the time when the pressure can really mount up, especially if the game is late in the order in a closely matched event.

2020 Whistling Straits (Straits Course)

golf ball with American flagThe 2020 Ryder Cup will be played at the Whistling Straits course near Kohler, Wisconsin.  The 36 hole club has previous hosted the PGA Championships three times and is well set up to get the best out of the worlds best golfer.  The Straits course will be used for the event, it opened only in 1998 but has already gained notoriety, modeled on the famous, more ancient, links course in the UK and Ireland.  It measures 7,790 yards (7,123 meters) with a par of 72.

Situated over two miles of uninterrupted shoreline on Lake Michigan the Straits is certainly picturesque and pretty as well as challenging.  The course boasts 500 sand bunkers and 14 water hazards set in 150 acres of rough and 22 acres of fairway.  The course also has a flock of Scottish blackface sheep, kept to wander the course to give it that authentic Scottish links feel Americans so love.

The longest hole is the Snake (5th) over 603 yards it is a par 5.  The shortest is the Pop Up (12th), a 143 yard par 3.  The 17th, aptly called Pinched Nerve, is regarded as the signature hole.  The fairly short par 3 (just uner 250 yards) runs north to south along the coast, and despite being a picture postcard has been known to damage many a scorecard, especially when playing into the wind.  The 7th hole, called Shipwreck, is another spectators favourite, the par 3  over a similar distance is opposite to the 17th, running south to north this time.  Of course any wind direction between the 7th and 17th is completely reversed.  Whatever the hole at this course wind is a big factor and those that can adjust will do well, those that can’t will find themselves landing in many of the rather numerous bunkers and other hazards along the Straits.

Ryder Cup Venues

golf course 18th hole drawing

The Ryder Cup alternates between the USA and Europe every two years, therefore each hosts the event every four years. The tournament moves around within each country too with most venues hosting the cup or the first time.

Only a few courses have hosted the Ryder Cup more than once, the Belfry held the event a record four time in 1985, 1989, 1993 and 2002, Royal Birkdale held it twice in the 1960’s and Ainsdale also did a double in the 30’s. The first ever cup took place at the Worcester Country Club in Massachusetts and the first in Great Britain two years later in 1929 at Moortown Golf Club in Yorkshire.

Future Venues

Year Venue USA/Europe Location
2020 Whistling Straits USA Haven, Wisconsin
2022 Marco Simone Club Europe Rome
2024 Bethpage (Black Course) USA Farmingdale, New York
2026 TBD Europe TBD
2028 Hazeltine National Golf Club USA Chaska, Minnesota
2030 TBD Europe TBD
2032 The Olympic Club (Lake Course) USA San Francisco, California

Previous Ryder Cup Results

Ryder Cup Overall Wins

Winners Total Wins Matches Singles Foursome Fourballs
USA 26 465 235 136 94
Great Britain / Europe (since 1979) 14 358 169 107 82

Ryder Cup Winners Since 1979

Year Winner Hosts Venue Score
2022 Europe  Marco Simone Club
2020 USA Whistling Straits
2018 Europe Europe Le Golf National 17½ – 10½
2016 USA USA Hazeltine National Golf Club 17–11
2014 Europe Europe Gleneagles 16½–11½
2012 Europe USA Medinah Country Club (Course 3) 14½–13½
2010 Europe Europe Celtic Manor Resort (Twenty Ten Course) 14½–13½
2008 USA USA Valhalla 16½–11½
2006 Europe Europe K Club (Palmer Course) 18½–9½
2004 Europe USA Oakland Hills (South Course) 18½–9½
2002 Europe Europe The Belfry (Brabazon Course) 15½–12½
1999 USA USA The Country Club (Composite Course) 14½–13½
1997 Europe Europe Valderrama 14½–13½
1995 Europe USA Oak Hill (East Course) 14½–13½
1993 USA Europe The Belfry (Brabazon Course) 15–13
1991 USA USA Kiawah Island (Ocean Course) 14½–13½
1989 Europe Europe The Belfry (Brabazon Course) 14–14
1987 Europe USA Muirfield Village 15–13
1985 Europe Europe The Belfry (Brabazon Course) 16½–11½
1983 USA USA PGA National Golf Club 14½–13½
1981 USA Europe Walton Heath 18½–9½
1979 USA USA The Greenbrier (Greenbrier Course) 17–11

Player Statistics

Player Number Year(s)
Oldest Player Raymond Floyd (USA) 51y 20d 1993
Youngest Player Sergio García (Europe) 19y 258d 1999
Youngest Captain Arnold Palmer (USA) 34y 31d 1963
Oldest Captain Tom Watson (USA) 65y 22d 2014
Most Apps Phil Mickelson (USA) 12 1995 – 2018
Most Points Sergio García (Europe) 25½ 2018
Most Singles Mutliple (5) 7
Most Foursome Bernhard Langer (Europe) 11½
Most Fourball Ian Woosnam & José María Olazábal (Europe) 10½
Most as Pair José María Olazábal & Seve Ballesteros (Europe) 12

History and About The Ryder Cup

Ryder Cup Early History

gleneagles home of the ryder cup

Looking at the records it is obvious why the Ryder Cup changed from an Ango-American affair to include the rest of Europe, Great Britain were simply being played off the course each year. This was not however the case in the early 1920’s. In fact the origins of the Ryder Cup tournament goes back to the 1921 British Open held at Gleneagles. The USA at this time had never won an Open and so a fund was set up by the magazine Golf Illustrated in conjunction with the PGA to send a team of 12 of America’s best to win it.

The team sailed to Britain for a warm up match to be held two weeks prior to the Open between Britain and the USA. The game consisted of 10 singles and 5 foursomes which Great Britain won 9-3. This was not an official event and didn’t lead to the direct creation of the Ryder Cup but it was the first match played between the two countries. The objective succeeded too as Jock Hutchison became the first USA player to win the Open in 1921.

british open championship golf ballIn 1926 a similar chain of events occurred again. This time a larger than expected team of Americans made the trip over to Britain for the Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club and so a competition was arranged where Walter Hagan would select a team of 10 Americans to play 10 Brits. The match on was again overwhelming dominated by Britain winning 13-1.

The event in 1926 was sponsored by Samuel Ryder, an English entrepreneur and golf lover. A trophy was supposed to be presented that year but for reasons unknown it was not (possibly because the gold cup did not yet exist), it was first presented the following year and this is how the event got its name.

A year later in 1927 a much more formal tournament was organised, again funded partly by Samuel Ryder, to played at Worcester Country Club in Massachusetts. Teams of 10 were selected and played four 36-hole foursomes and eight 36-hole singles, the USA won 9½–2½.

It was quickly realised an annual competition was not going to work and so the next event was arranged for 1929 to be played at Moortown Golf Club in Yorkshire, the event has remained biennial ever since. The Ryder Cup was not hosted between 1937 and 1947 due to the second World War with the only other rearranged fixture being 2001 due to the 9/11 attacks in the USA. The event was pushed back to the following year (2002) causing the Ryder Cup to switch from odds to even numbered years.

Format Changes

golf ballInitially the Ryder Cup was contested between two teams of 10. From its beginnings in 1927 until 1959 the format remained as 4 36-hole foursome matches followed by 8 36-hole singles over two days, giving a total of 12 points to be won. In 1961 the format changed from 36 hole matches to 18 hole games with 8 foursomes and four singles, again over 2 days, increasing the number of points available to 24. This only lasted for one tournament as in 1963 the Ryder Cup expanded to three days and fourball matches were introduced for the first time. Here 8 foursomes were played on day 1, 8 fourballs on day 2 and 16 singles on the new day 3, giving a total of 32 points to be played for.

In 1969 the number of players on each team increased from 10 to 12 and in 1973 the format changed so that both foursomes and fourballs were played on the same day. In 1977 the tournament reduced to 10 matches (5 foursomes, 5 fourballs and 10 singles) for one year but changed again to it’s current format a year later when the tournament was expanded to include all of Europe. The format has remained unchanged since with 28 points up for grabs from 8 fourballs, 8 foursomes and 12 singles.

American Dominance and the Rise of Europe

golf ball with usa flag painted onIn the early years it was the Americans who were desperate to gain an edge over their British counterparts by raising funds to send teams of the best USA players over to Britain to win the Open. By the time the Ryder Cup started honours were roughly even, the USA won their first two at home (1927 and 1931) and likewise Britain won their first two at home (1929 and 1933).

This didn’t last long, USA won the two Ryder Cups before the suspension for WWII and on the resumption in 1947 America carried on winning. In fact between 1935 and 1971 Great Britain won just the once in 1957. For the 1973 Cup Irish players were also invited to join the British team. This however did little to stem the flow as the USA went on to win in 1973, 1975 and in 1977.

In 1979 the most significant change in Ryder Cup history was made as the British team changed to the European team. It is said Jack Nicklaus himself recommended the change to help create a more competitive tournament. This was also coupled with the rise of the Spanish Golfer Seve Ballesteros and German Bernhard Langer.

golf ball with european flagThe change was an immediate success and in the years since it is the USA who have become the underdog. Despite carrying on their winning streak in 1979, 1981 and 1983 the USA finally lost to Europe on 1985 and didn’t win again until 1991. The 1990’s saw a very competitive period with America winning again 1993 followed by a double for Europe in 1995 and 1997 and the USA again in 1999.

Following the year gap due to the New York 9/11 attacks, it was Europe who came to dominate the Ryder Cup winning six out of seven tournaments from 2002 to 2014. To stem the tide the USA set up a task force for the 2016 Ryder Cup, this worked wonders as the USA were dominant from the outset, beat Europe eventually 17-11.  The USA were brought back down to earth in 2018 however, despite being favourites with a rejuvenated Tiger Woods on the team they lost deservedly to Europe in Paris, they will now have to wait until 2022 in Italy to break their duck on the continent, having now failed to win in Europe since 1993.

2020 provides a much tougher test for Europe however who will require more than good play to beat the American’s on their home soil.  The saving grace may be the Whistling Straits course, modeled on a Scottish Links course it could play more into the hands of the average European golfer than the USA.  We will wait and see.