Europe look ready to claim another Ryder Cup victory at Gleneagles
Paul McGinley admits that Europe are favourites to win the Ryder Cup for the sixth time in the past renewals, with the Irishman being spoilt for choice when it came to selecting three wildcard picks.
Luke Donald was the most notable omission from the dozen players who will set out to achieve at least a draw which would make sure the trophy remains within the continent.
Coral and Betfred are the only firms still holding 4/6 about a European victory, with the price shortening following confirmation that Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson won’t be lining up.
“I wouldn’t say we’re hot favourites but we certainly are favourites,” McGinley told BBC Sport after announcing his three captain’s wildcard picks. “And it is something we should embrace.
“Talking to John Jacobs, there’s tears in his eyes when he talks about how far European golf and the European Tour have come.”
There are some attractive correct score prices when it comes to Europe triumphing comfortably, with the 18.5 v 9.5 victory available at odds of 66/1 with BetVictor.
The 2004 and 2006 renewals ended with that particular scoreline so there is a case for having a small bet on this happening again, while a 17-11 win can be backed at shorter odds of 20/1 with the same firm.
Ian Poulter was always destined to be included as a wildcard pick and bet365 go 8/1 about the Englishman being the top scoring player for his team, with Rory McIlroy the 4/1 favourite.
“He’s a talisman – you know he’s always going to raise himself coming into a Ryder Cup,” McGinley said. “He very rarely has a lot of form going into a Ryder Cup, but somehow manages to produce it.
“He knows he’s up against it in this Ryder Cup, he knows he’s going to be the man with the “X” on his back; the American players will relish playing against him.
“But if anyone is ready for that challenge it’ll be Ian Poulter,” the captain added.
For the Americans, Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson are trading at 6/1 with Ladbrokes to be the top scorer for the US, although Keegan Bradley seems to thrive in this competition and the wildcard pick will be lining up again with Lefty for the foursomes and fourballs.