ANTICIPATION for golf’s biennial battle has never been higher on this side of the Atlantic. After a hugely successful year for European golfers, expectation is also sky-high and it’s no surprise that Team Europe are listed as 4/6 favourites on Betdaq. Indeed, Paddy Power have already paid out on a European victory before a ball has even been struck.
With a wealth of riches, captain Colin Montgomerie’s biggest problem in the run up the contest was deciding who to leave out of his team. To my mind he has assembled an exceptionally strong side and a brilliant line-up of vice-captains, with a perfect blend of talent, experience and passion.
Aside from having the best group of players on this year’s form, there is much more to suggest a home triumph at the Celtic Manor Resort on Sunday. Europe have dominated in recent years, winning five of the last seven contests since 1995. More importantly, home advantage seems to be significant – since GB & Ireland welcomed Spaniards Seve Ballesteros and Antonio Garrido to become Team Europe in 1979, the US have only won twice in this continent.
The Europeans, most of whom played at this newly designed Twenty Ten course at the Wales Open in June – including tournament winner Graeme McDowell – should find it easier going over the weekend, particularly if it rains as forecast. And while the Americans were out chasing the big bucks in the FedEx Cup playoffs, most of their opponents have found time to rest and relax.
The 4/6 available for a Europe win is decent but a buy of Sporting Index’s outright Europe/USA supremacy at 6 looks a better option. With 10 points awarded for a win and three for every point won by, even the narrowest of victories will pay a handsome profit. While it would be foolish to expect a nine-point margin as in 2006 and 2004, a three or four point victory is certainly within reach.
McDowell is good value to be top points scorer. We’ve already mentioned that he has form over the 7,378 yard track and he will surely benefit from the confidence of being the first European to win the US Open in 40 years. As one half of one of Europe’s most formidable pairings with his friend and fellow Ulsterman Rory McIlroy, he’s sure to feature prominently in the fourballs and foursomes on Friday and Saturday. Again, it may be better value to buy his top overall index at 7 with Sporting Index, for a potential 43 point profit should he score most points.
McIlroy managed to rile Tiger Woods with his comments earlier this week and a potential showdown between the two would be an exciting singles match on Sunday. However, another European debutant, Martin Kaymer, is exceptional value at 5/4 to outscore American wildcard Woods in Betdaq’s match bet. The German won the KLM Open this month to add to a sensational victory in the US PGA Championship last month, while Woods’ best continues to elude him.
Buy Europe outright supremacy at 6 with Sporting Index
Buy Graeme McDowell’s top scorer index at 7 with Sporting Index
Martin Kaymer to outscore Tiger Woods at 5/4 on Betdaq