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Ryder Cup

Donald admits Europe have “work cut out” if they are to preserve 30 year record

Published on September 27, 2023
Written by Chris

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Donald admits Europe have “work cut out” if they are to preserve 30 year record
  • Donald acknowledges size of task but has confidence in his players
  • Johnson happy with his selections as the USA turn out 12 of the World’s top 20
  • USA favourites but history is against them!

European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald has said that his team “have their work cut out” if they are to wrestle the trophy back from the United States at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome. USA captain Zach Johnson has huge strength in depth at his disposal and he confirmed that he was more than happy with his squad after Bryson DeChambeau was in winning form once again on the LIV Golf circuit.

Donald acknowledges difficulty of task as Europe look to protect 30 year record

Europe suffered a record 19-9 defeat at Whistling Straits in 2021 and this time around the Americans have the better side on paper. Europe may boast three of the world’s top four but the USA’s strength in depth is phenomenal with no less that 10 out of their 12 players ranked in the top 20.

Donald has a huge task ahead of him if Europe are to preserve one of the longest unbeaten records in sport. The last time Europe lost on home soil was in 1993 at the Belfry.

Donald stated: “I know it’s going to be a difficult next few days, it really is. The US are very strong. We know that,

“We are coming off our worst defeat ever in a Ryder Cup. US players are strong, high up in the world rankings and they have some great partnerships and have had a lot of success.

“We have our work cut out but as captain you have to be confident. I certainly have a lot of belief in my team and you have to have belief that you’re going to get them into a place where they are going to be successful.”

Johnson happy with selection

Meanwhile USA captain Zach Johnson confirmed that he was happy with his selection after 

Bryson DeChambeau won his second LIV event in the last two months on Sunday. The only player from the Saudi breakaway league to be selected was Brooks Koepka, who was included as a wildcard pick after superb performances in the Majors, winning the US PGA and finishing second in the Masters.

“We have a points system within the PGA of America, within the Ryder Cup USA. It’s pretty evident how you garner points and which tournaments can accumulate points,” said Johnson.

“When it got down towards the end of the process, it was the top 20, the top 25 guys in that point system that I felt like had the merit and should have my full attention.”

Europe protecting phenomenal record

Not since 1993, when captain Tom Watson led his team to a 15-13 victory at the Belfry have the Americans lifted the trophy away from home. And the win in 1993 was their first victory in Europe since 1981. They secured a tie in 1989 but, as Europe were the holders, they retained the trophy.

The American team has been close twice since ‘93, in 1997 at Valderrama and in 2010 at Celtic Manor, but otherwise it has been a story of convincing victories for the European team. 

Away wins in Ryder Cup rare

It is a big ask to win away from home in the Ryder Cup. In 43 stagings of the event since its inception in 1937, less than one in three Ryder Cup encounters have ended in an away victory. Since the turn of the century, there have only been two away wins, in 2004 and 2012. Obviously both of these were European victories.

USA still favourites for Ryder Cup 2023

As we enter the Ryder Cup week, the USA are still favourites to lift the trophy. At the time of writing, bet365 have the USA at 10/11 with Europe at 11/10 with a draw 12/1. They have Europe 11/10 to lift the trophy, with the USA 8/11, given that the Americans retain the cup as holders in the event of a draw. Odds are correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.

Europe’s odds have shortened over the last couple of weeks as their top players come into form. Punters need to  look at the history of the event, the general lack of away wins and Europe’s record in the last 30 years, along with the current form of the two teams to assess whether the favourites will prevail, or whether Europe can maintain their 30 year record and upset the odds.

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Chris is a former athlete and a qualified PE teacher. He is a keen football fan, watching many matches at different levels throughout the season, and enjoys following many different sports. With betting and sports sites, he has a keen eye for detail and can to highlight positives and negatives for users. His experience in sport as a performer, teacher, writer and fan allows him to see things from many different perspectives. Editorial Promise