RYDER CUP TEEING UP TO BE A CRACKING TIE IN PARIS

We are just months are away from the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in Paris, France where both Europe and USA will be confident of their chances of success in the biennial team competition.

The United States are the defending champions after they won back the trophy for the first time since 2008 following a 17-11 victory in their back yard at Hazeltine National Gold Club. The majority of their heroes from that success are set to return again for captain Jim Furyk, who is charged with leading the visitors in their bid to retain their crown.

Credit: Western Amateur via Twitter

Furyk will be buoyed by the fact that six of the last eight Major winners in the sport have been American. Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas have established themselves as two of the most consistent players in the game and are always knocking on the door at the big events, while Brooks Koepka and Patrick Reed are now Major winners who are hungry for more success in the sport.

The United States are the marginal favourites in the golf betting at 19/20 to win the 2018 Ryder Cup and the bookmakers look to have got that right as when you look at the current eight players who are set to qualify for the tournament, they all have Ryder Cup experience so it set to be a very experienced squad who will be able to handle to the pressure of being the visiting team.

That said, Europe have home advantage, therefore, that means their players will be cheered on at every hole across the three days by the majority of the crowd in Paris. Europe are 21/20 in the betting to win back their trophy and avoid the Americans taking it back on the plane with them at the end of the tournament.

As ever with the European team, a lot will be expected of Rory McIlroy. The former world number one has shown glimpses of his old form in 2018; however, he has not been quite as consistent as previous seasons. His record in the Ryder Cup is excellent though so expect Europe captain Thomas Bjorn to make full use of the Northern Irishman in the four-balls and foursomes.

Credit: Sky Sports Golf via Twitter

One of the hottest players in the world at the moment, and that was backed up in the Open Championship, is Francesco Molinari. The Italian won the PGA Championship at Wentworth back in May but the biggest success of his career came last month at Carnoustie where he landed his maiden Major Championship. If the 35-year-old continues to strike the ball as well as he has done, he will take some beating in his matches. Molinari has been part of two successful Ryder Cup teams as he was in the 2010 and 2012 winning squads, the latter being the miracle of Medinah where he was in the final game against Tiger Woods and was able to gain a half point against the 14-time Major winner.

Although the United States are the rightful favourites, we are set for three excellent days of golf and one which is going to divide opinion as to who will be victorious at the end of it.

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