The Ryder Cup tees off on Friday 30 September with Team Europe looking to make it three in a row for the first time since Ian Woosnam lifted the trophy in 2006. Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose will be looking to turn the results board blue early on when they go up against Jordan Speith and Patrick Reed in the first competition of the competition.
The team that makes the strongest start at Hazeltine has been touted as the one who will prevail but sports betting experts have said the contest is too close to call. Bettingexpert.com has analysed players' statistics and found experience and long-game accuracy will be key, giving Europe the slenderest of edges over USA.
The world's biggest social network for sports betting looked at the team averages for a series of vital statistics for the Hazeltine encounter and found that Europe edge driving accuracy (62% v 58%), hit more greens in regulation (67% v 66%) and hold the all-important upper-hand of Ryder Cup experience (28 apps /73 points v 26 apps/42 ½ points).
While Europe captain Darren Clarke has opted for experience, his USA counterpart David Love III has the in-form team. The Americans are averaging a longer driving distance across the team (297yds v 292yds), and take one putt less a round (29 v 30). Team USA have Dustin Johnson as their heavy hitter– he's leading every player in the tournament in World Ranking, Driving Distance, and Shots Per Round. Plus, USA are ranked as a squad, on average, ten places higher than the Europeans.
bettingexpert's Henrik Lykkesteen said: "It's fascinating to discover where Europe and USA might find their edge around Hazeltine in this year's Ryder Cup. The visitors look like they'll get to the hole quicker, but the hosts should take less putts when they get there. Taking all the vitals into account, Europe are 1-Up on USA, suggesting that there could be some value in going with the visitors at 15/8, while the bookies fancy the hosts at 4/7."