The 2021 golf season is about to draw to its thrilling conclusion, with the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atalanta marking the end of the PGA Tour. Attention is quickly turning towards the latest renewal of the Ryder Cup, which will take place at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin between 24-26 September.
With the tournament 12 months behind schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic putting paid to the event taking place last September, there is understandably a lot of excitement building ahead of tee-off time later this month, and the onus is on Team USA, who are the odds-on favourites in the Ryder Cup betting, to regain the title after just one triumph in the last five editions.
Team Europe will have their work cut out if they are to stop the Americans from winning at Whistling Straits, especially as the ongoing pandemic means there will be a lack of the visitors’ rowdy following. So, as Team USA look for back-to-back victories on American soil, let’s take a look three players who could make a difference for Team Europe. Read on to find out more!
Without a doubt Team Europe’s in-form player, that will lead to a lot pressure being placed on the shoulders of Jon Rahm at this year’s Ryder Cup. Now ranked number one in the world, the Spaniard has had a fantastic year on the tour, finishing in the top 10 at the Masters (T5) and the PGA Championship (T8) before finally getting his hands on a major title at the US Open, where he beat Louis Oosthuizen by a single stroke at Torrey Pines. He has since finished T3 at The Open, and his performances at the big tournaments this season will fill Padraig Harrington, Europe’s captain, with confidence as he relies on Rahm to pick up vital points.
Rory McIlroy’s demise from the top of the golfing world has been well documented over the last few years, and it’s no secret that the Northern Irishman has failed to add to his major haul for the last seven years and counting. However, the 32-year-old has an impressive overall record at the Ryder Cup, picking up 13 points from 24 matches, and he could thrive on the links-style Straits Course, a format which he grew up playing at the likes of Royal Portrush and Royal County Down. This will be McIlroy’s sixth appearance for Team Europe, making him one the most experienced players in the tournament, and that’s the kind of thing that could help bolster his team’s chances in the Ryder Cup betting tips.
A player with as much experience as Lee Westwood is always an asset to a Ryder Cup team, and with the season the 48-year-old has had this year, he could prove to be a massive player for Team Europe at Whistling Straits. His early season form, which included second-place finishes at the World Tour Championship, the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players, resulted in Westwood climbing back in to the top 20 ranked players in the world for the first time in eight years, and whilst he has since dropped back down to 32nd, he will be delighted to be back in the European team after missing out on a place in 2018 after 10 consecutive Ryder Cup appearances. Fatigue has been an issue for Westwood at tournaments this year, so Harrington will need to utilise him wisely with morning and afternoon sessions taking place across the course of the first two days before the tense singles on the final day.