As De La Soul’s well-known 90’s ballad triumphantly exclaimed; three is the magic number. In the case of Europe and the Ryder Cup, this can be applied in a far more negative sense than the American hip hop trio were preaching about.
Three is the current streak of victories that Europe have compiled over their United States counterparts in golf’s most exhilarating matchplay event heading into the 2016 edition.
However, since the inception of the Ryder Cup’s present format back in 1979, neither team has managed to nail a fourth win in succession.
When the format was extended the USA began the biannual battle with their European cousins by taking the first three and since the great Jack Nicklaus steered them to glory in 1983 as captain, two in succession is the best they’ve mustered.
Europe are in the throes of their most dominant period – winning six of the past seven editions – though a 2008 visit to Valhala saw Paul Azinger’s side claw back some pride smack back in the middle of this seemingly one-sided sequence.
The previous occassion Europe arrived in America’s back yard searching for a fourth straight win, their hopes were also dashed, this time at South Carolina’s Kiawah Island resort in 1991.
A two-match winning run was also ended across the pond by a Ben Cranshaw-led US contingent in 1999.
Having strolled to victory at Gleneagles on home soil last time out, many will be looking at Europe’s odds of 7/4 to break the precedent at Hazletine National GC, Minnesota as generous.
Judging by history, this would be misplaced confidence as US skipper Davis Love III plots a way past Darren Clarke’s men.
With two major winners apiece in 2016 so far, this promises to be close-fought contest and the 4/7 on star-spangled joy looks good enough before a ball is teed off next month, thanks to this long-running pattern.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.