The 2016 Ryder Cup Betting Preview and Tips


Europe need 14 points to retain the Ryder Cup, it's just a shame that we can't send the in form Rory McIlroy out 14 times to collect them.

If you're a regular follower of SpankTheBookies golf tips then you'll know I'm a massive McIlroy fan, I maintain that if he plays to his very best then there is no one in the world, let alone in America who can beat him over 18 holes.

He often beats himself with his putting but fingers crossed he can hold it together on the greens.

If I'm being totally honest, I think Rory will need to be at his very best and win at least 4 out of his 5 points for Europe to have any chance of retaining the Ryder Cup. Maybe that will upset a few people, but it's my honest opinion.

Rory McIlroy is paired with Andy Sullivan on the first morning in the foursomes, it's the Englishman's first appearance at the Ryder Cup and he's got the best possible pairing to hopefully get an early win on the board.

Andy Sullivan is one of six Europeans who are making their debut and that gives USA the edge. Cabrera Bello, Fitzpatrick, Pieters, Willett and Wood being the other five.

USA have the home advantage, the experience and in my opinion the better golfers going into the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine.

The world rankings though are based on strokeplay, a totally different format to what is played here. Matchplay is whats swings the pendulum slightly back in Europe's favour and past results swing it even further.

Europe have been victorious in eight of the previous ten Ryder Cups, most recently a 5pt thumping of USA at Gleneagles. USA are out for revenge.

It is worth noting that USA's cumulative world rankings add up to 196, whilst Europe's tally up to 343. You can see why it's hard to look beyond USA gaining revenge at Hazeltine National Golf Club Chaska, Minnesota.

Team USA Ryder Cup


Age - 52

Appearances - 6

Record - P26 W14 L5 H8

Dustin Johnson

Age - 32

World Ranking - 2

Appearances - 2

Record - P7 W4 L3 H0

Jordan Spieth

Age - 23

World Ranking - 4

Appearances - 1

Record - P4 W2 L1 H1

Patrick Reed

Age - 26

World Ranking - 8

Appearances - 1

Record - P4 W3 L0 H1

Rickie Fowler

Age - 27

World Ranking - 9

Appearances - 2

Record - P8 W0 L3 H5

Phil Mickelson

Age - 46

World Ranking - 15

Appearances - 10

Record - P41 W16 L19 H6

Jimmy Walker

Age - 37

World Ranking - 16

Appearances - 1

Record - P5 W1 L1 H3

Matt Kuchar

Age - 38

World Ranking - 17

Appearances - 3

Record - P11 W4 L5 H2

J.B Holmes

Age - 34

World Ranking - 21

Appearances - 1

Record - P3 W2 L0 H1

Brooks Koepka

Age - 26

World Ranking - 22

Appearances - Debut

Brandt Snedeker

Age - 35

World Ranking - 23

Appearances - 1

Record - P3 W1 L2 H0

Zach Johnson

Age - 40

World Ranking - 28

Appearances - 4

Record - P14 W6 L6 H2

Ryan Moore

Age - 34

World Ranking - 31

Appearances - DEBUT

Team Europe Ryder Cup


Age - 48

Appearances - 5

Record - P20 W10 L7 H3

Rory McIlroy

Age - 27

World Ranking - 3

Appearances - 3

Record - P14 W6 L4 H4

Henrik Stenson

Age - 40

World Ranking - 5

Appearances - 3

Record - P11 W5 L4 H2

Danny Willett

Age - 28

World Ranking - 10

Appearances - DEBUT

Justin Rose

Age - 36

World Ranking - 11

Appearances - 3

Record - P14 W9 L3 H2

Sergio Garcia

Age - 36

World Ranking - 12

Appearances - 7

Record - P32 W18 L9 H5

Rafa Cabrera Bello

Age - 36

World Ranking - 30

Appearances - DEBUT

Chris Wood

Age - 28

World Ranking - 32

Appearances - DEBUT

Thomas Peters

Age - 24

World Ranking - 42

Appearances - DEBUT

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Age - 22

World Ranking - 44

Appearances - DEBUT

Lee Westwood

Age - 43

World Ranking - 46

Appearances - 9

Record - P41 W20 L15 H6

Martin Kaymer

Age - 31

World Ranking - 48

Appearances - 3

Record - P10 W4 L3 H3

Andy Sullivan

Age - 29

World Ranking - 50

Appearances - DEBUT

13:35 - Jordan Spieth & Patrick Reed (USA) vs Justin Rose & Henrik Stenson (EUR)

"Wow what a game to start the Ryder Cup" was my initial thoughts. Four special players in probably the toughest match to call. Spieth and Reed paired up two years when they were USA's third pairing in the morning foursomes and they took Poulter and Gallagher to pieces winning 5&4. Both players were then rested in the afternoon four balls (which in hindsight was a huge error from USA) but they paired up again on Saturday morning beating Bjorn and Kaymer 5&3. Davis Love III probably think this is his strongest pairing and would be expecting Spieth and Reed to come back with at least a half.

Rose and Stenson were a pairing that Paul McGinley (Europe's Captain in 2014) could rely on and its no surprise that Darren Clarke sticks with a tried and tested formula. Stenson has had trouble with his knee lately and everyone will be hoping he doesn't suffer a reoccurrence of that injury after pulling out of the Barclays only a few weeks ago. I'll stick my neck on the line and say Spieth and Reed take this by a narrow margin.

13:50 - Phil Mickelson & Rickie Fowler (USA) vs Rory McIlroy & Andy Sullivan (EUR)

Phil Mickelson is the father figure of team USA but he hasn't got the best Ryder Cup record. He's lost over 50% of his games and he's paired with Rickie Fowler who yet to win a Ryder Cup game in 8 attempts. Rickie Fowler was a wild card pick and I'd say looking at his form he's rather fortunate to be here.

They face Rory McIlroy and Andy Sullivan, a pairing that I expected to see. If Rory can get his putter hot and drop a few early on in the round then this European pairing will be tough to beat. It's Andy Sullivan's Ryder Cup debut and the cheeky Englishman will hopefully get off to a winning start.

14:05 - Jimmy Walker & Zach Johnson (USA) vs Sergio Garcia & Martin Kaymer (EUR)

Jimmy Walker comes into the Ryder Cup in fine form and he had a decent record in 2014 winning 2½ points from a possible 5. He pairs up with the experienced Zach Johnson. You know what you're going to get with Zach, he's likely to hit plenty of fairways and plenty of greens which is perfect in foursomes. Zach hasn't had the best of seasons mainly due to him changing his clubs, but he'll let no-one down in this format.

Sergio and Martin Kaymer are the opposition. Sergio has a very respectable record of 18 wins from 32 games in the Ryder Cup whilst Kaymer sank 'the Medinah putt' to bring the Ryder Cup home from USA in 2012. Garcia is a golfer who frustrates on the greens whilst Kaymer isn't the same guy who was once the world number one.

I find this game tough to call but if you're putting me on the spot then I say USA just edge it with Jimmy Walker playing a major role.

14:20 - Dustin Johnson & Matt Kuchar (USA) vs Thomas Pieters & Lee Westwood (EUR)

I'll start by saying that I was shocked with this pairing from Darren Clarke, I thought Danny Willett would play for five points in his Ryder Cup debut. I probably go as far as saying that Darren Clarke maybe changed his mind after Danny Willett's brother caused controversy earlier this week. I think it's unfortunate for Danny as there has been a lot pressure on him to speak out when I don't really think it was necessary. Danny is his own person and what his brother says or does is really nothing to do with Danny.

Anyway, Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar would be extremely tough to beat no matter what pairing Europe sent out. DJ has worked extremely hard on his short game and it's clearly paid off. The winner of the US Open, FedEx Cup and the current world number 2 is cleverly paired with a very consistent golfer in Matt Kuchar. Kuuuuuuuch's consistency and bronze at the Olympics is what earned himself a wild card pick.

Thomas Pieters is another debutant for Europe, he shot a 62 to force his way into this Ryder Cup team and is paired with Lee Westwood. Westy is a solid golfer which is why he's playing in his TENTH Ryder Cup. If Lee Westwood could putt then he'd have definitely won more times on the European and PGA tour.

I see USA taking this one and taking at least a 2½ - 1½ lead into the afternoon four balls.

Day One Foursomes Results

Very disappointing morning for Europe as USA recorded a 4-0 victory. It was closely matched most of the morning but USA found an extra gear on the back nine and pulled clear in three games. Rory McIlroy and Andy Sullivan looked to have a chance of pulling a point back but Sullivan bombed one in the water on the 17th hole and that ended their chances.

Europe have a mountain to climb from here.

18:30 - Jordan Spieth & Patrick Reed (USA) vs Justin Rose & Henrik Stenson (EUR)

It's tough to back against the Spieth & Reed partnership after they comfortably beat Rose & Stenson in the foursomes this morning. USA are arguably better when it comes to four balls and I fancy USA to come out on top in this one, although Rose & Stenson will probably make it tougher for the Americans.

18:45 - J.B Holmes & Ryan Moore (USA) vs Sergio Garcia & Rafa Cabrera Bello (EUR)

Holmes is a big hitter who can be either absolutely brilliant or extremely wayward. He probably a very good partner for Ryan Moore who is in fine form. This is J.B's 2nd appearance at the Ryder Cup and his record is very good.

Europe pair the Spaniards together in this one, Garcia & Cabrera Bello is another likeable partnership. Although Cabrera Bello hasn't won this season he's been very consistent and the experience of Sergio Garcia will help him a lot. A difficult game to call and one I'll probably try to avoid betting on.

19:00 - Brandt Snedeker & Brooks Koepka (USA) vs Martin Kaymer & Danny Willett (EUR)

I'm a big fan of Snedeker, he's currently ranked number 23 in the world and that mainly down to his putting. At times he can be fabulous on the greens and playing with the long hitting Koepka could be a perfect partnership. Brooks is another debutant at the Ryder Cup but don't let that fool anyone, this guy can play! Koepka is ranked 22 in the world and I see this pairing tough to beat.

Martin Kaymer didn't play great this morning and he's paired with the Masters champion Danny Willett. Lots of eyes will be on Danny Willett after his brothers comments and it will be interesting to see how he copes with the heckling. I see USA taking this match, but I think it'll be a cracker.

19:15 - Dustin Johnson & Matt Kuchar (USA) vs Thomas Pieters & Rory McIlroy (EUR)

Dustin Johnson vs Rory McIlroy, I'll have some of that! This is the pairing I'm praying to see in the singles but we'll take a warm up right here.

I have Europe winning this one. Pieters dropped a few nice putts this morning and if he can take care of Matt Kuchar then I definitely see Rory McIlroy out gunning Dustin Johnson over 18 holes, especially if he continues to knock those short putts in. It's going to be close but I see Europe just taking this game.

13:35 - Rickie Fowler & Phil Mickelson (USA) vs Rory McIlroy & Thomas Pieters (EUR)

I just couldn't see Mickelson playing again in the foursomes so I'm somewhat surprised that he is first to tee up for USA on Saturday morning. Mickelson was horrendous off the tee in Friday's foursomes and if McIlroy & Peters can show the same form when beat DJ & Kuch then I see Europe getting another point on the board here.

13:50 - Brandt Snedeker & Brook Koepka (USA) vs Henrik Stenson & Matthew Fitzpatrick (EUR)

This was the pairing that won the only point for USA in the fourballs and its no surprise that Davis Love III sticks with them. Sneds and Koepka easily beat Willett and Kaymer but this should be tougher. Stenson was half of the pairing that put up a monumental performance to hammer Spieth and Reed yesterday afternoon and he's paired with Ryder Cup debutant Matthew Fitzpatrick. The young Englishman is the baby of the team but he's a very steady golfer and should make a perfect partner for Henrik Stenson. I'm going to stick my neck on the line here and say Europe take this point.

13:50 - Jimmy Walker & Zach Johnson (USA) vs Justin Rose & Danny Wood (EUR)

This is a game that I'm struggling to call mainly because of how Jimmy Walker played in the very early part of the morning yesterday. Walker and Zach Johnson won their point but it was a bit of a car crash foursome against Garcia & Kaymer, but Rose & Wood will put up more of a test.

If Walker plays how he did yesterday morning then Rose & Wood will take this but I fancy Jimmy Walker to up his game significantly. If you was pushing me for a prediction then I'd say USA win this point but I wouldn't be surprise if it was halved - it's a no bet from me.

13:50 - Jordan Spieth & Patrick Reed (USA) vs Sergio Garcia & Rafa Cabrera Bello (EUR)

We've already seen both of these pairings, the USA pairing on more than one occasion. This should be a cracker. Spieth & Reed were comfortably beaten yesterday afternoon and they wouldn't have like that at all. Prepare for a very focused performance from USA here. The Spaniards team up again after their 3&2 victory against Moore & Holmes but this will be a different test for EUR. I see the American's taking this point but Europe winning the morning 2½-1½.

18:30 - Brooks Koepka & Dustin Johnson (USA) vs Rory McIlroy & Thomas Pieters (EUR)

This should be a cracker, four golfers who smash it miles. Koepka and Pieters have been brilliant in their debut Ryder Cup's whilst Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy are up there with the best drivers on tour. If Rory can keep the ball on the fairway then I say Europe will win this point as Koepka was very wayward earlier today in his foursomes match with Snedeker. McIlroy & Pieters beat DJ & Kuchar yesterday 3&2 and I predict a similar score in this one.

18:45 - J.B Holmes & Ryan Moore (USA) vs Danny Willett & Lee Westwood (EUR)

I really can't predict this one. This is probably the best format for Westwood, I think it was a wise move from Clarke keeping him away from foursomes but it will be interesting to see how his partner Danny Willett plays after suffering a hammering in the four balls yesterday. The long hitting J.B Holmes & the in form Ryan Moore are the opposition for Westy & Willett, I predict that this goes all the way down the 18th. It's a no bet four ball for me but if you're pushing me for a prediction I say USA take this one but it'll be close.

19:00 - Phil Mickelson & Matt Kuchar (USA) vs Martin Kaymer & Sergio Garcia (EUR)

Kuch sat out this morning whilst Mickelson was on the end of 4&2 beating against McIlroy & Pieters. Sergio Garcia is currently playing the 18th against Reed & Spieth - it's been an epic game where the European pairing of Garcia & Cabrera Bello have battled by from 4 down to tie and take it up the 18th. Garcia will be drained and has less than an hours rest before he gets back out there. I think the fresh Matt Kuchar and Phill Mickelson take the point home for USA.

19:15 - Patrick Reed & Jordan Spieth (USA) vs Justin Rose & Henrik Stenson (EUR)

Here we go again! Reed & Speith vs Rose & Stenson part III. Currently 1-1 and it would take a brave guy to have a big bet on the winner of this one. Reed & Spieth are currently having a wobble against Garcia & Cabrera Bello and they're likely to be emotionally drained no matter the outcome. I think Europe take this one but It'll be closer than the 5&4 win for EUR yesterday afternoon.

17:04 -Patrick Reed (USA) vs Rory McIlroy (EUR)

Both captains have sent their best player out first here. Patrick Reed is thriving under the pressure and Rory McIlroy has been playing brilliantly. This is the singles game that I wanted and if Europe can take this point then it could swing the momentum in our favour. I expect this to be a triller. I think Rory takes it by a narrow margin.

17:15 - Jordan Spieth (USA) vs Henrik Stenson (EUR)

Another great match here. You could argue that Jordan Spieth has been carried by Patrick Reed at times during the Ryder Cup. Spieth has been leaking most of his shots out to the right and the straight hitting Henrik Stenson should take care of him if that continues today.

17:26 - J.B Holmes (USA) vs Thomas Pieters (EUR)

Probably the surprise story of the Ryder Cup has been Thomas Pieters, quite simply - he's been brilliant. Paired with Rory McIlroy they have been a dominant force especially yesterday in the four balls as they finished -11 with the better ball being scored. If he can keep finding fairways and keep dropping putts he'll beat the long hitting but often wayward J.B Holmes. This will be an interesting game but Darren Clarke clearly has a lot of faith in Pieters.

17:37 - Rickie Fowler (USA) vs Jordan Rose (EUR)

If everything goes to how I'm predicting then this is 3-1 to Europe so far in the singles. Rickie Fowler has played some decent golf in the Ryder Cup, especially considering he's been poor most of the year on tour. He's hit some wayward drives off the tee but he's held some long putts. Rose is always pretty solid tee to green but his putting lets him down. He just doesn't make enough putts inside 12 feet. I'm hoping that changes today and Rose can find some form with his putter to get another point on the board for Europe.

17:48 - Jimmy Walker (USA) vs Rafa Cabrera Bello (EUR)

This one could go right down the 18th. Two closely matched players who stick the ball on the green in regulation. This one will be decided with the putter in hand, but it's too close to call for me to have a bet. If you're pushing me for a prediction then I say Jimmy Walker takes it 2&1 but I wouldn't be surprised if its halved.

17:59 - Phil Mickelson (USA) vs Sergio Garcia (EUR)

Phil Mickelson is a perfect partner in four balls, this is because you have another golfer to potentially bail him out if he hits a shocking drive (he's hit plenty of those in the Ryder Cup), but you also have a chance of some brilliance to take a hole here and there. In singles though if he drives as bad as he has done then forget it. Sergio Garcia will stick it on fairways and greens and make Pars all day long. He's also made some decent putts from outside 12 feet, just expect a wobble or two inside 5 feet. Sergio to bring this point home for Europe, but only if he can hit significantly more fairways than Mickelson.

18:10 - Ryan Moore (USA) vs Lee Westwood (EUR)

It might seem slightly harsh but I'm going to stick it out there, Lee Westwood should never have been picked by Darren Clarke. It's so annoying to watch him miss putt after putt and then know a guy like Russell Knox is sitting at home and didn't make the team. Ryan Moore has been in fine form before the Ryder Cup and I expect a comfortable USA victory here.

18:21 - Brandt Snedeker (USA) vs Andy Sullivan (EUR)

Snedeker has been doing what Snedeker does best - dropping putts for fun. He's a guy that I'm a big fan of. We haven't seen much of Andy Sullivan apart from his appearance on the first day when partnered with Rory. If I'm honest I think he played ok that day and if he repeats that level of performance then Snedeker will take this point home for USA.

18:32 - Dustin Johnson (USA) vs Chris Wood (EUR)

DJ has been unlucky to find himself against Rory McIlroy on a few occasions this Ryder Cup but today he's got a considerably easier game. Chris Wood has been sparingly used and I bet he's buzzing to be up against the world number 2. Tough game for the Englishman though, DJ takes this point home.

18:43 - Brooks Koepka (USA) vs Danny Willett (EUR)

Brooks has won 2 out of 3 points that he's played for but he's been quite wayward off the tee. This is a similar story to Mickelson and Garcia for me. If Brooks keep on driving the ball into the second cut of rough against Willett then you'd expect him to be fighting a losing battle. If Willett can find the fairway on the first 6 holes then I'd expect him to be at least a hole or two up with the pressure right on Brooks Koepka. If Danny Willett hits a high percentage of fairways then he'll win this point.

18:54 - Matt Kuchar (USA) vs Martin Kaymer (EUR)

Kuch is steady, Martin Kaymer has been anything but. Another player for Europe who probably doesn't deserve to be there in my honest opinion. Matt Kuchar will drive the ball down fairways, stick it to 20 feet most of the time and make pars whilst he's eating his breakfast. Kuchar will take this point.

19:05 - Zach Johnson (USA) vs Matthew Fitzpatrick (EUR)

If the day goes in favour of Europe then most of the world will be all eyes on this game as they walk up the 18th hole. Will Matthew Fitzpatrick handle the pressure if it comes down to that. He seems a level headed guy but he's up against a very experience Zach Johnson. This is another game too close to call but if it comes down to a high pressure game then you'd expect Zach to hold the upper hand.