Europeans Dominate Americans, Ryder Cup Upset Biggest Since 2006

Posted on: October 1, 2018, 03:00h. 

Last updated on: October 1, 2018, 11:14h.

Team USA arrived at the 2018 Ryder Cup in France as the favorite, but shortly after the international competition teed off, it became rather apparent that the sports bettors had it all wrong.

Ryder Cup golf odds
The 2018 Ryder Cup was a joyous three days for Team Europe. (Image: Mike Ehrmann/Getty)

Prior to day one’s fourballs, the Americans were favored at -150, or implied odds of winning at 60 percent. A $100 wager would have netted $66.67.

USA had six of the world’s top 10 ranked players. Europe had the other four.

On paper, it seemed the Americans had the advantage. Bryson DeChambeau has been arguably the hottest player on the planet, as the 25-year-old won two of the four FedEx Cup Playoffs tournaments. Tiger Woods was supposedly also back in form after winning the Tour Championship.

But when the balls got in the air on Friday, it was the camaraderie of the Europeans that allowed the international squad to upset the Americans. Europe would go on to win 17.5 to 10.5 to retake the Cup. It was the largest margin of victory since 2006.

The Westgate SuperBook had Team Europe at +130, or a roughly 43 percent chance of winning, before day one. Wagers on Europe at those odds returned $130 for every $100 bet.

Americans Bogey

Friday’s morning fourball session went in favor of Team USA, with Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau, Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler, and Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth winning the first three matches. However, the fourth morning match was won by Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood over Patrick Reed and Tiger Woods.

It would be the first of four losses for Woods.

The afternoon foursomes, which is an alternate shot format, set the tone for the rest of the 2018 Ryder Cup. Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose, Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia and Alex Noren, and Molinari and Fleetwood ran the table winning all four matches.

Europe would go on to claim five of Saturday’s eight matches, extending their lead to 10-6 heading into Sunday’s singles round. With 12 points up for grabs on the final day, the SuperBook had the Americans long underdogs at +425 to retain or win the Ryder Cup outright. Europe was the heavy favorite at -600, or implied winning odds of nearly 86 percent.

Sunday Finale

The Americans made an early charge on Sunday by winning three of the first five matches and halving another. But then Europe rattled off four consecutive wins. The Cup was officially decided when Phil Mickelson conceded his match on the 16th hold to Molinari.

Molinari had a historic Ryder Cup by winning all five of his matches for the maximum five points.

I’ve been part of two winning teams where I didn’t bring full points, and I’m glad after I’ve been carried on the shoulders by some of these guys to give something back,” Molinari explained. “But it’s about every one of these guys, the vice captains, it’s just the best team I’ve ever been part of by miles.”

Europe has won nine of the last 12 Ryder Cups. The 2020 competition will be played at Wisconsin’s Whistling Straits Golf Course.