Ryder Cup 2018: Europe looks to Rose
The 42nd Ryder Cup has started bright and early and for the first time ever it is being held at Le Golf National in France. Coming straight after the PGA tour, golf fans can look forward to three days of intense action. Will Tiger Woods, fresh from his tour victory, inspire the American team or will FedEx Cup winner Justin Rose lead the Europeans to glory?
All golf’s majors have been completed for another year and attention now switches to Ryder Cup action that pits the best European golfers against their American counterparts. Holders America will hope to replicate the 17-11 easy victory they achieved two years ago in Hazeltine. As the Americans hold three of the four major titles they will be confident of repeating the feat.
The Europeans will be motivated by Justin Rose’s incredible FedEx Cup victory on the PGA tour, sinking a birdie on the 18th to clinch the FedEx Cup and deny Tiger Wood a double victory.
European team captain Thomas Bjørn addressed the crowd at the Ryder Cup opening ceremony and expressed his pride at taking charge of such a talented array of golfers. It was however vice-captain Graeme McDowell who received the biggest cheer of the day when addressing the crowd.
McDowell infamously won the 2010 U.S Open at Pebble Beach, which ended a 40-year drought for Europeans at the tournament. The 39-year-old sent the crowd into a frenzy when he talked about the unity between the Europeans and the desire to be part of history.
Europe will be looking towards Justin Rose to be their inspiration and in the early action in France he gave Europe the lead, producing a fantastic wedge shot that landed within a few feet of the pin. Another player who is pivotal to Europe’s hopes is Rory McIlroy. The Northern Irish golfer won the PGA Championship in 2012 and 2014 but could only finish in 7th place at East Lake, 6 shots behind winner Tiger Woods.
For the Americans, most of the media and fan attention is going to be focused on Tiger Woods. The 14-time Major winner took the recent Tour title and a resurgent Woods will make the American team stronger.
Such is the quality in the American team that Woods is only 6th favourite within the American camp to be top points scorer, with Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed all deemed more likely to score higher.
The bookmakers have USA as 9/10 favourites. Europe are priced at 13/10 and the odds of a draw are 11/1.
Captain: Thomas Bjørn.
Vice-captains: Luke Donald, Padraig Harrington, Robert Karlsson, Graeme McDowell, Lee Westwood.
Players: Francesco Molinari, Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Alex Noren, Thorbjorn Olesen. Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson, Paul Casey.
Captain: Jim Furyk.
Vice-captains: David Duval, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Davis Love III, Steve Stricker.
Players: Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Webb Simpson, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Bryson Dechambeau, Tony Finau.