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The Ryder Cup odds suggest the 44th playing of the biennial matches is all but over after Team Europe dominated the opening sessions.
Oddsmakers were split heading into the Ryder Cup, with each team slightly favored in their home countries and regions. Books stateside had the US Team favored at -175 and the Europeans the underdogs at +175. But bookmakers in the UK and throughout Europe had the Europeans the slight front-runners at even money, and the US the dog at +110.
Oh, what a difference a day can make. Following Friday morning’s foursomes and the afternoon fourball matches, Europe is now a commanding favorite at books both in the US and across the pond.
At DraftKings in Virginia, the Europeans are favored at -550. That implies a winning chance of nearly 80%. A $100 bet on Europe would net just $18.18 should the team continue its momentum and reclaim the Ryder Cup that it lost during the 2021 matches at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
Overseas, bookmaker William Hill has the home team even more favored at -600. At this juncture, the implied odds of almost 86% would net just $16.67 on a winning $100 wager.
For the first time in the history of the Ryder Cup, which was first played in 1927 with the US Team winning at Worcester Country Club in Massachusetts, the US squad failed to win a single match on Day 1.
The Europeans swept the Friday morning foursomes. The US bounced back during fourballs and appeared likely to win the afternoon session before the Europeans pulled off some heroics.
Jon Rahm eagled two of his final three holes to split his and Nicolai Hojgaard’s match against the US’ Brooks Koepka and Scottie Scheffler, which on paper is perhaps the US’ strongest pairing. Moments later, Justin Rose, the oldest player among the 24 Ryder Cup participants, won the 17th and 18th holes in his match with Robert MacIntyre against Max Homa and Wyndham Clark to halve their match.
Viktor Hovland and Tyrrell Hatton earlier halved their match by fighting back from two down on the back nine in their match against Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Rory McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick made easy work of Xander Schauffele and Collin Morikawa to win 5-3.
Europe won five matches and split the other three on Friday to end the day up five points.
The US trails 6.5-1.5 points after Day 1, but Captain Zach Johnson says there’s plenty of golf left to be played in order for the team to make up ground and retain the Cup come Sunday. Saturday begins with another session of foursomes.
McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood tee things off against Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg then battle Brooks Koepka and Scottie Scheffler.
Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka play Brian Harmon and Max Homa, and Tyrrell Hatton and Jon Rahm bring up the rear against Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele.
Bettors who think a comeback is in the works will be rewarded nicely for their foresight should it happen. DraftKings and William Hill both have the Day 1 losers at +600. A tie is at +1400.
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