The 40th Ryder Cup: 5 things we can’t wait to see at Gleneagles

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There’s less than a week to go until the centre of the golfing universe shifts to Gleneagles, where home captain Paul McGinley will look to protect Europe’s stonking recent record against the USA, led by Tom Watson.

You’ll struggle to find a wider range of markets for the bi-annual bonanza than at Ladbrokes, and we’ve picked out five things we can’t wait to see based on the best betting angles available.

A new scoreline

Since the Ryder Cup became a 28-point tournament in 1979, there have been seven 14½-13½ scorelines, by far the most prevalent, including in the last two renewals.

That’s available at 9/1 for Europe and 12/1 for USA, but for those in search of variety, 16-12 has never been achieved by either side.

The hosts are 10/1 for a 16-12 win, while the visitors can be backed at 14/1 for the same.

Ian Poulter’s biannual world-class show

Three Europe top-scorer gongs in a row is quite an achievement from the Hertfordshire swinger, who seems to save all his best days for the Ryder Cup.

You can have 6/1 joint second-favourite odds on Poulter bringing up the four-timer.

Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth

Having tied for fifth or better in each of 2014’s four majors, how Fowler goes in Scotland will be of great interest after the 25-year-old missed the ‘Miracle at Medinah’ two years ago.

Fowler only claimed two half-points from three matches at Celtic Manor in 2010, when he became the youngest USA player in the tournament’s history, but four birdies in his last nine holes against Edoardo Molinari in the singles showed that the Californian is no matchplay mug.

The world number 10 is 5/1 to be his country’s top scorer and deserves to come into consideration, although 8/1 joint second-favourite Jordan Spieth also warrants attention in this market on Ryder Cup debut, after a fine second season on tour, with tying for runner-up honours at the Masters a particular highlight.

Whether Watson’s return will produce the same result as 1993

The USA need a good omen or two, having lost the past four Ryder Cups in Europe and seven of the last nine all told.

Captain Watson rates a decent one though, as the last time the five-time Open champion skippered his country was in 1993, when USA won 15-13 at the Belfry having lost the previous two at the same course.

That scoreline can be backed at 12/1 at Gleneagles.

If Rory McIlroy really is the new Tiger Woods

Northern Ireland’s finest, and the world number one for that matter, caused a few ructions ahead of his Ryder Cup debut in 2010, when stating that the Ryder Cup ‘is an exhibition at the end of the day’ and that golf ‘is an individual sport. You have individual goals and my goals are to win tournaments for myself’.

McIlroy has backtracked somewhat since, and played much better in his first two appearances, bagging five points from a possible nine, than renowned individualist Woods, who notched just 3½ out of 10 between 1997-99.

However, with this streak clearly present in McIlroy’s genetic makeup, backing him to top score for Europe at 4/1 looks a mug’s game.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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