As an individual game, the inevitable ebbs and flows of a golfer’s form during a season only ever impacts one person. But in Ryder Cup week a player’s performance takes on an extremely heightened importance.
In a team environment, just managing to claw half a point from the opposition can be the difference between jubilant celebration and navel gazing.
As a result, those arriving in Hazeltine to represent Europe and USA that aren’t at the top of their games will be hitting the practice range in desperate hope of shaking free of a funk, while the in-form players will feel invincible.
Here’s a run down of the red-hot and ice cold ahead of the match play spectacle:
Dustin Johnson – USA
DJ has climbed from eighth in the world rankings at the end of 2015, to second at the time of writing thanks to some stellar play.
The South Carolina native has six top-three finishes this season. Three of those have been victories, with his latest coming in his last start at the BMW Championship. In his last five starts, Johnson has only been out of the top 20 once.
Matthew Fitzpatrick – Europe
We make the Englishman our second favourite to be Europe’s top debutant point scorer, at 4/1, largely because in the last few weeks he’s been electric.
In the last four starts Fitzpatrick has been a top-10 finisher three times. The best of those was his solo fifth at the Czech Masters and with a tie for seventh at the European Masters his most recent result, the 22-year-old should be looking forward to a successful Ryder Cup debut.
Danny Willett – Europe
The Masters champion heads Fitzpatrick in the debutant market at 3s, but is in nowhere near as good form.
Willett has struggled immensely since slipping on the Green Jacket. His bronze medal at the BMW International Open is the only respectable result in his last 10 appearances, a run that has seen him finish outside the top 20 five times and miss three cuts.
Zach Johnson – USA
Unlike Willett, Johnson hasn’t missed a cut in 14 starts, but he’s only landed in the top 10 twice in that same span.
The 2015 Open champion’s best result in the last five outings was his tie for 34th at the John Deere Classic and he looks there for the taking in Minnesota.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.