Why it’s no bad thing that the Europeans are half rookie


Since the Ryder Cup allowed the UK and Ireland to include the rest of Europe in its team to face the USA in 1979, no away side has ever won the trophy with as many rookies as Darren Clarke has taken to Minnesota.

It’s a statistic that perfectly summarises the size of the Northern Irishman’s task, despite taking charge of a European outfit that has dominated this tournament for past 10 editions with eight wins.

With their success built on long a history of great camaraderie and togetherness, this year’s European team aren’t likely to need too much effort to integrate the new faces. Nor should they be in any doubt that the newbies among them this year cannot be relied upon.

Not only did Europe win the Ryder Cup as recently as 2010 under Colin Montgomerie with six rookies in the team, albeit at home, but their new faces have performed better overall compared to their rivals.

Between 1985 and 2014, the European rookies have accrued a superior win percentage than that managed by the USA foals.

The fresh-faced boys in blue have won 40 per cent of their 160 collective matches, while their USA counterparts appear to have been wrongly trusted by featuring in a whopping 214 outings and winning just 39 per cent.

This year, Davis Love III will only have two rookies at his disposal in Brooks Koepka and wildcard pick Ryan Moore.

Those two sit at the top of our market to be the tournament’s top debutant point scorer, at 4/1 and 9/2 respectively, although their position may be somewhat surprising given the form of their predecessors.

Danny Willett is the leading European hope, also at 9/2, although an in-form Matthew Fitzpatrick may be the best bet at 6s.

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



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.