Okay, here me out before making my reservation for a suite at St. Elizabeth’s. Right now the British bookmakers are sending the European Team off as an overwhelming 1:2 favorite in the 2014 Ryder Cup. These are the same guys who had Tiger Woods at 16:1 for the 2014 Open Championship, and those were phony odds. These are phony as well and are simply the reflection of the betting public’s irrational biases.
The miscalculation is being driven by the recent whippings administered by the Euros. Since 1985 they are sporting a dominating 9-4-1 record but this year will be different. A quick look at the data yields an interesting revelation. The secret to Euro success has been their team approach to competition. No individual is above the team. They also enjoy terminal underdog status and have leveraged the American’s penchant for individual play over team. Nobody epitomizes the “me first” mentality on the U.S. side more than Tiger Woods. Is there a more narcissistic player on the planet? The American’s have followed the lead of their best player and got caught up in the individual career achievement mentality, so much so that they struggle with the mindset of placing the team ahead of themselves.
Since 1985, the Euro’s hold a 58.5 to 53.5 advantage in points in foursomes (alternate shot) and a dominating 65.5 to 46.5 advantage in four balls – the two team formats. Even as they have been dominated, the U.S. has still been able to maintain a slight edge in singles play (84.5 points to 83.5). It’s clear they prefer singles to team. With Woods off the U.S. team the mindset will change. Forget about the big names on the Euro side, or lack of on the U.S. I can’t wait to see who the U.S. version of Ian Poulter is and I don’t think the Euro’s are comfortable in the role of overwhelming favorite. The huge underdog U.S. squad will get it done.
Throwing Tiger under the bus one more time, I’ll make my Final prediction: U.S. 14 1/2 – Europe 13 1/2.
How do you think this plays out?