Back these underrated Ryder Cup men to be unlikely game changers

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With the pressure mounting on Paul McGinley and Tom Watson to get their pairings right ahead of the Ryder Cup’s raucous Friday tee-off, we thought we’d lend a helping hand.

These men aren’t necessarily seen as the leaders of the team, but could be an underestimated force at Gleneagles:

Thomas Bjorn – 20/1 to be Europe’s top point-scorer

Having been an assistant captain on three European teams since his last appearance as a player in 2002, Bjorn should have no excuse for being ring rusty.

His consistency this season saw him score seven top 10s and he’s unbeaten in four fourball and singles matches in previous Ryder Cups. He also won the Johnnie Walker Classic at Gleneagles in 2011.

Stephen Gallacher – 6/1 to be top debutant

Of all the Europeans receiving home support at Gleneagles, the cheers for the Scot will perhaps be the loudest.

Hailing from Dechmont, an hour away from the Ryder Cup venue, should help settle Gallacher’s nerves come Friday, with his superb results at the course acting as quite the sedative.

In his last five starts at Gleneagles, Bernard’s nephew has never been out of the top 15.

Webb Simpson – 7/1 to be top wildcard scorer

Simpson sat out the first morning’s play at Medinah last time, but formed a strong bond with Bubba Watson, winning two of their three matches together.

He’s been earmarked as one of the Americans without too much form to call on, having relied on a captain’s pick to get here, but has still had four top-three finishes – including one win – this term.

Keegan Bradley – 20/1 to be top tournament scorer

Bradley may be without a win this season, but was the embodiment of passion and fire at Medinah two years ago, where he picked up three points in three matches alongside Phil Mickelson.

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.