Ryder Cup: Form of veteran Langer exciting for Europe

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“Do you want the good news, or the bad news?” the doc says as you await the test results that will determine whether you back Europe or USA in the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

Your palms perspire nervously as you ask to get the bad news out of the way first.
“Paul McGinley, the European captain, has pulled out of the USPGA Championship with a shoulder injury and has been ordered to rest for a couple of months.”
“Christ, what if he can’t make the tournament? What will happen to Europe’s odds.”
“Don’t panic, Europe are still the 4/5 favourites for victory, thanks largely to the good news.”
“What’s the good news then?”
“Bernhard Langer has just cantered to the Senior Open Championship title and is now 20/1 to make the squad and provide an experienced head if McGinley is absent.”
“Ah,” you say with a huge sigh of relief, “I’ll back both then.”

If there’s anything that can be gleaned from that imaginary conversation, it’s that backing both a European Ryder Cup win and Langer to take part in it are both sensible options with a little under two months before the start of the event.

McGinley’s injury purely rules him out of playing, but there’s nothing to stop him attending tournaments to get a first hand view of his potential captains’ picks during the European Tour.

Missing the Ryder Cup is highly unlikely for the Irishman and while his shoulder niggle isn’t ideal, his preparation to lead the defending champions shouldn’t be impacted.

The odds on Langer making the team look fantastic given his form, with his most recent outing culminated in a record 13-shot win at Royal Porthcawl to claim his fourth senior major championship.

Having a former winning captain back on the team as a player will be a huge benefit to Europe, while any concerned that the 56-year-old is too old need only look to his T8 at this year’s Masters for proof to the contrary.

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.