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Thursday, 25 September 2014

How To Make Money Betting On The Ryder Cup

Historically the Ryder Cup sees a huge volume of bets as bettors consider the plough money on either team to lift the trophy on Sunday. This article looks at the past 11 Ryder Cups to see whether or not the odds are a good guide for picking the eventual winner.

1991 – Kiawah Island Golf Resort (USA)
Result: USA 14.5 vs. Europe 13.5
Before the 1991 battle of Kiawah Island bookmakers made the USA 1.800 favourites with Europe not far behind at 2.100. The USA led after Day 1 4.5 to 3.5 but were pegged back on Saturday night to leave the scores tied at 8-8.
The result remained in the balance until Bernhard Langer agonisingly missed a four-foot putt on the 18th, which gave the US a thrilling 14½-13½ victory – if he had sunk the putt the match would have been tied, and Europe would have retained the Ryder cup.

1993 – The Belfry (Europe)
Result: Europe 13 vs. USA 15
For the first time in Ryder Cup history Europe were made favourites, with odds of 1.909 to win on home soil at the Belfry, while the US were pushed back to 2.127.
Europe led 4.5-3.5 after day 1 and maintained their one-point advantage after sharing the eight points on offer on day two. It’s the American’s however who come from behind to claim the Ryder Cup 15-13 after securing 7.5 points in the singles.

1995 – Oak Hill Country Club (USA)
Result: USA 13.5 vs. Europe 14.5
After two successive victories the USA went into the Ryder Cup at Oak Hill in New York as the 1.500 favourites, with the Europeans at 2.875.
America led 9-7 going into the singles, but the visitors produced a stunning display to upset the odds and claim the Ryder Cup.

1997 – Valderrama (Europe)
Result: Europe 14.5 vs. USA 13.5
The 1997 Ryder Cup saw the US placed big 1.533 favourites – given Tiger Woods had secured a 12-shot win at The Masters earlier in the year made his debut – while European captain Seve Ballesteros’ named five rookies and were as long as 4.000.

However inspired by Ryder Cup legend Ballesteros on home soil the Europeans had built up a huge 10.5-5.5 lead after day two. The Americans produced a stunning fight back in the singles but fell short, as the Europeans upset the odds for a second successive Ryder Cup.

1999 – Brookline (USA)
Result: USA 14.5 vs. Europe 13.5
The star-studded US team were as short as 1.285 to win the Ryder Cup back, while the Europeans were once more underdogs at 3.750. The Europeans once more led after Day two after producing stunning golf to lead 10-6.
Once more however the Americans dominated the singles and fought back superbly to win 14.5-13.5 and reclaim the Ryder Cup.

2002 – The Belfry (Europe)
Result: Europe 15.5 vs. USA 12.5
After the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York, the Ryder cup was delayed 12 months but both teams stuck with the original line-ups chosen 12 months earlier. With more European players perceived to have lost form, the US start as the 1.500 favourites, while the hosts start at 2.875.

However the Europeans wowed the partisan crowd and took a first day lead – the 7th time in the last 8 Ryder Cups. With that said the US rallied to level the scores at 8-8 going into the singles.

Despite the Americans had won six of the previous seven singles, Europe were in fantastic form to close out the win at 15.5-12.5.

2004 – Oakland Hills (USA)
Result: USA 9.5 vs. Europe 18.5
After a number of close fought Ryder Cup’s, Europe stunned the world of golf with a dominant 18.5-9.5 rout. The US started as 1.571 favourites, while the Europeans were as long as 2.880.

Unsurprisingly the correct score of Europe 18.5 USA 9.5 was offered as large as 176.000, which equates to a 0.57% implied probability.

2006 – K Club (Europe)
Result: Europe 18.5 vs. USA 9.5
With home field advantage and four wins in the last five, Europe were slight favourites at 1.909, while the Americans were offered at 2.375.

The Europeans once more lead going into the singles after securing 10 points over the first two days. They completed another terrific performance on Sunday to win by a massive 18.5-9.5 for the second Ryder Cup running.

Darren Clarke, who entered the Ryder Cup after the recent loss of his wife, produced a heroic performance to win all his three matches.

2008 – Valhalla (USA)
Result: USA 16.5 vs. Europe 11.5
In the past the thought of Europe being made huge 1.727 to win a Ryder Cup on US soil would have been inconceivable.

However after winning five of the last six matches and with Tiger Woods out injured, Europe were fancied to beat the US by both the bookmaker and the punter – the US were offered as the 2.070 underdogs.

However after Day 1 Europe had made a disastrous start and trailed 5.5 to 2.5, and despite cutting the gap to 9-7 going into the final day, Europe were up against it. The comeback was not to be as the USA complete a 16.5-11.5 victory.

2010 – Celtic Manor (Europe)
Result: Europe 14.5 vs. USA 13.5
Europe were made the 1.610 favourites after a number of the players had already performed well at the venue, while a no US player had graced the turf in Wales previously and start as 3.000 underdogs.

The Americans made a fast start however Europe fought back and justified their pre-tournament favouritism, as they closed out a narrow one point victory on the Monday as the event was played over four days due to bad weather.

2012 – Medinah (Europe)
Result: USA 13.5 vs. Europe 14.5
Europe started the tournament as favourites for the fourth consecutive Ryder Cup as bettors could back them at 1.840, while the US were the 2.070 home underdogs.

The US set the tone on Day 1 leading 5-3, as the Europeans struggled with the fast pace of the Medinah greens. The Americans then built their lead to 10-6 going into the final day.

Europe’s final day rally was dubbed the ‘Miracle at Medinah’ as Martin Kaymer sinks his putt to ensure they retain the Ryder Cup with a miraculous 14.5-13.5 victory.

Much of Europe’s success was down to Ryder Cup stalwart Ian Poulter who was their top point scorer for the third consecutive tournament.

Ryder Cup betting history
By looking back into the betting history of the Ryder Cup the overriding trend suggests betting against the favourites.
Ryder Cup
Home Odds
Away Odds
Winner Implied Probability
USA 1.800
Europe 2.100
Europe 1.909
USA 2.127
USA 1.500
Europe 2.875
Europe 4.000
USA 1.533
USA 1.285
Europe 3.750
Europe 2.875
USA 1.500
USA 1.571
Europe 2.880
Europe 1.909
USA 2.375
USA 2.070
Europe 1.727
Europe 1.610
USA 3.000
USA 2.070
Europe 1.840

Over the last decade, the favourites have been beaten 60% of the time. Bettors will be interested to know that by backing the underdogs with a £100 stake blindly at the prices quoted on the first morning would have netted a profit of £570 (not including stake).

However over the past four Ryder Cups the bookmakers have been more accurate at predicting the winner as three of the favourites before the start of play went on to win.