The 43rd playing of the Ryder Cup will begin Friday at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wis. following a one-year delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Field Level Media's golf team provides key notes, odds best bets for this week's competition between Team USA and Team Europe.
Sept. 23-26, Sheboygan, Wisc.
Course: Whistling Straits (Par 71, 7,390 yards)
Defending Champion: Team Europe
HOW TO WATCH
TV: Friday: 8 a.m.-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday: 8-9 a.m. (GC), 9 a.m.-7 p.m. (NBC); Sunday: 12-6 p.m. (NBC)
Streaming: Featured Matches (TBD): on Peacock, RyderCup.com, and the Ryder Cup app.
--The event began in 1927. The United States holds a 26-14-2 record in the Ryder Cup, but Team Europe has won nine of the past 12 events and leads 11-8-1 since the competition was expanded to include the entire continent of Europe.
--The U.S. holds a 17-4 record on home soil.
--Each team is comprised of 12 players. The U.S. team includes six rookies, with 37-year-old Dustin Johnson the veteran of the group as he plays in his fifth Ryder Cup.
--The match play format includes two days of eight matches, with four foursomes and four fourball matches. All 24 players then compete in 12 head-to-head Sunday singles matches.
--The average world ranking for the U.S. team is nine, compared to 30 for Team Europe. The average age for the U.S. players is 29.1 compared to 34.6 for Europe.
--This will be the first Ryder Cup since 1993 without Phil Mickelson or Tiger Woods competing.
--Five Americans finished in the top 20 the last time the PGA Championship was held at Whistling Straits in 2015.
--Spain's Sergio Garcia holds the record for most Ryder Cup points all-time with 22.
TEAM EUROPE: Padraig Harrington (captain); Jon Rahm (2nd Ryder Cup), Tommy Fleetwood (2nd), Tyrrell Hatton (2nd), Bernd Wiesberger (Rookie), Rory McIlroy (6th), Viktor Hovland (Rookie), Paul Casey (5th), Matthew Fitzpatrick (2nd), Lee Westwood (11th), Shane Lowry (Rookie), Sergio Garcia (10th), Ian Poulter (7th).
UNITED STATES: Steve Stricker (captain); Collin Morikawa (Rookie), Dustin Johnson (5th Ryder Cup), Bryson DeChambeau (2nd), Brooks Koepka (3rd), Justin Thomas (2nd), Patrick Cantlay (Rookie), Tony Finau (2nd), Xander Schauffele (Rookie), Jordan Spieth (4th), Harris English (Rookie), Daniel Berger (Rookie), Scottie Scheffler (Rookie).
--Viktor Hovland to be Europe's top points scorer at 600 at BetMGM. The Norwegian is a Ryder Cup rookie but the world No. 14 is also Team Europe's second-ranked player behind No. 1 Jon Rahm.
An accomplished player in match play events as an amateur, including a win at the 2018 U.S. Amateur, Hovland is also the youngest player on his team this week. That makes him a prime candidate to play in four to five sessions during the grueling event as long as his game is in solid form.
--Brooks Koepka (1200) to be Team USA's top points scorer. Only three Americans - rookies Scottie Scheffler (1600), Daniel Berger (1800) and Harris English (2500) - have longer odds. Koepka is a big wild card this week after withdrawing from the Tour Championship with a wrist injury a few weeks ago.
He has assured captain Steve Stricker that he is healthy. If so, Koepka certainly has the endurance to play in several sessions. He also has an ax to grind with many questioning his commitment to the team event. Playing with a chip on his shoulder has led to many of the four-time winner's greatest feats in the past.
--Sergio Garcia (750) to be the top-scoring Captain's Pick. A strong case can be made for Team USA's Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele, who are both being offered at 400. Garcia provides much better odds, however, and does enter as the top points scorer in Ryder Cup history.
At 41 years old, Garcia still possesses length off the tee that can help Europe tackle Whistling Straits. And on a veteran-laden roster, the Spaniard is well suited for captain Padraig Harrington to run out in any session.
--Schauffele (300) to be Team USA's top rookie. The Olympic champion may have been a captain's pick, but he was a shoe-in for the team. He's one of six Ryder Cup rookies for the Americans.
FedEx Cup champ Patrick Cantlay is also 300, while two-time major champion Collin Morikawa is 400. Morikawa says his back is good to go, but the injury that hampered him during the Playoffs just a few weeks ago will likely limit how many sessions Stricker includes him in.
Scheffler, Berger and English were the final three players to make the team. They're important pieces to Team USA's success, but they're unlikely to get as many opportunities as Schauffele unless someone gets off to a blazing start.
--Team Europe (220) to win. Many experts are predicting a Team USA blowout due to the Americans' massive advantage on paper. As Johnson pointed out this week, a paper advantage has too often ended in a U.S. defeat over the past two-plus decades.
The Europeans will play with nothing to lose on "foreign soil," although many of them live full-time in the States. They have an extremely accomplished Ryder Cup roster and seem to have a better approach toward fully embracing the event.
--Field Level Media