There’ll be plenty of attention focused on the Liberty National Golf Resort in New Jersey this weekend as some of the best golfers from the US and outside of Europe roll in for the always competitive Presidents Cup! Check out this guide for expert analysis of the latest betting markets offered on this weekend's event!
The 2016/17 PGA Tour season may be over now that Justin Thomas has landed the big one, the FedEx Cup. This is a competition that rewards the most consistent player of the campaign with the honour of being named as such – and the small matter of a paycheque worth $10 million.
After a 12-month period in which he has won five times, Thomas is a more than deserving champion. At this time of year golf typically goes a bit quiet, with the ‘wraparound’ season of a few low-key events taking us into the festive period. But this year, things are a little bit different…
In an attempt to cash in on the ever-growing popularity of the Ryder Cup, golf’s governing bodies decided to create another team-based event to take place in the odd-numbered years – the Ryder Cup being held biennially in even-numbered years. They came up with the Presidents Cup, an event quickly becoming a hotbed for golf betting.
The Presidents Cup pits the might of the US against a Rest of the World team made up of players from all corners of the globe (excluding Europe). It’s a competition that’s enjoying increased popularity of its own, and given that it’s the last time most of the world’s elite players will turn out in 2017, there’ll be plenty of attention focused.
The format used is identical to that of the Ryder Cup. The respective team captains, who are Steve Stricker for the US and Nick Price for the Rest of the World, select their pairings across three days of four balls and foursomes. Winning teams earn a point with half points dished out for ties.
Then, on day four, the 12 golfers lock horns in singles battle – again with single points on the line. Ultimately, it’s the team with the most points who will prevail, and with 30 in total available it’s the first team to 15.5 who take the spoils. There is no financial prize attached to the Presidents Cup, just the sense of pride in a job well done.
The selection criteria for the Presidents Cup is straightforward. For the US, the highest-placed ten players from the FedEx Cup rankings automatically book their spot on the team, and the captain has two additional wild card picks to make.
Steve Stricker has opted for the experience of Phil Mickelson, a multiple-time Presidents and Ryder Cup winner, and Charley Hoffman. As for the international team, it is the best-ranked players according to the Official World Golf Rankings who make the cut, plus the two selections made by the captain.
Price has drafted in Emiliano Grillo and Anirban Lahiri as his two wild cards. All of which means that this year’s Presidents Cup will see eight major champions and countless PGA Tour winners battle it out in what should prove to be an outstanding showcase.
Before placing any bets, punters must first get to grips with the course that the Presidents Cup will be played out on. The Liberty National has twice hosted the Barclays Championship, a FedEx Cup event, and should provide the perfect setting for finding some real betting value.
It’s a 7,353 yard, Par 71 stretch that cost some $250 million to construct – ensuring its place as one of the most expensive golf courses ever built. This is an idyllic stretch of land that offers vistas of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty; although the players certainly won’t be taking their eye off the ball.
Knowing about the US’s fearsome record in team-based golf will also help punters in their quest for profit. There have been 11 editions of the Presidents Cup and the Americans have won nine of them – including six-out-of-six on home soil.
In 2016, they also broke Europe’s stranglehold on the Ryder Cup with a six-point win in front of an impassioned crowd at Hazeltine National. It’s often the vocal home supporters who act as a ‘thirteenth man’. The Liberty national's impact won't be known for sure till after the weekend but clearly it's going to have some impact.
The top online sportsbooks have made the US their odds-on favourites, with a price of 3/10 across most of them. It’s hard to argue with that given the American team features three of the reigning major champions and a whole group of players who have a wealth of experience in high-profile team golf events.
There are a whole bunch of betting markets available, but the two that seem to feature the best value are the Top American and Top International Player. In the former, Brooks Koepka (10/1 with Betway) offers plenty of interest given that he tends to raise his game for the big tournaments, having won the US Open and claimed plenty of major top-tens already in his young career.
The Liberty National will suit his classic ball-striking game, too. In the latter, it’s easy to like Louis Oosthuizen’s chances at 7/1 with William Hill. He gained 4.5 points for his team in 2015, and has been playing some great golf of late with runner-up finishes in the Players’ and PGA Championships.
So, if you’re missing the Ryder Cup this year, or just simply want to place some wagers on the next big international golf event, take a look at the sportsbook on Paddy Power and the Presidents Cup could tempt you on course! New players signing up to Paddy Power for the first time will receive a generous Free Bet!