So this past weekend was a wild one for golf. Tiger finally did it. He got his 80th win in the final tournament of the season. I may seem late to the game here, but I’m really not. The one thing I promised you all when I first started writing for NoseBleed Takes is that I would never regurgitate golf news. Why would I? After all, I don’t have inside the ropes access and my golf viewing is the same as everyone else’s, that is, broadcast through the lense of Johnny Miller and Jim Nantz on TV. So when Tiger wins, I’m not narcissistic enough to think that anyone wants to read my recap. You can read about the records Tiger broke until your fucking eyeballs pop out on golf digest, ESPN, and Golf WRX. My goal is to get people to read my thoughts on things that aren’t glaringly obvious in golf.
So with that matter put to rest, let’s look at what American fans need to do in order to enjoy this week’s Ryder Cup.
As Tiger said many years ago, the Ryder Cup is simply an exhibition event. So we need to look at it with that understanding. This week is a huge party and a celebration of a bunch of dudes playing for their country and continent. The whole week is about golf in general as much as it is the Americans vs the Europeans. We had the celebrity match yesterday, which featured a pretty impressive list of celebrities
Samuel L Jackson, Michael Phelps, Kurt Russell, Kelly Slater, John McEnroe, Luke Wilson, and Condoleezza Rice all showed up for the Americans, while the Europeans brought a bunch of fucking soccer players and some no name actors.
I mean, come on, they couldn’t get one member of the Royal family or at least Liam Neeson out there?
Naturally the Americans won the celebrity match and now the Junior Ryder Cup teams are playing. Tomorrow we have a past captains match and opening ceremonies before kicking off the actual Ryder Cup on Friday.
On Friday, the morning matches feature a four-ball format. So east foursome has 2-man teams and everyone plays their own ball, but each team takes the lowest score. Then it’s scored like matchplay, so the lowest score will win the hole.
Friday afternoon are foursome matches. Again, there are two man teams, but they alternate hitting each shot. This is interesting because they can only play one ball, so when Tiger played with Phil back in the day, Phil had to learn how to play with Tiger’s ball. It makes for an interesting dynamic.
Saturday will be the same schedule as Friday and Sunday we have singles matches, which is one on one match play.
For a casual sports fan, the Ryder Cup is pretty easy to get into. After all, it’s an excuse to get all patriotic and root against Europeans. It’s also a great excuse to start drinking early, since it’s being played in Paris, as if we needed another excuse now that it’s football season.
If you want to bet on the matches, which I would highly recommend, it can be a little bit tricky. Like I said, this is a huge party for the players. They spend their week celebrating the close of the PGA season and get hang out with legends of the game. So if you are looking to turn a few hundred into your next year’s mortgage on some singles match parlays, this ain’t it chief. On top of the uncertainty of who will show up hungover out of their mind, you have to take into consideration that this is a totally different dynamic from stroke play golf. Jordan Spieth has notoriously struggled as a professional in these formats, while Patrick Reed has been a rock star. Conversely, Ian Poulter has been a hero for the Europeans while performing relatively not great on tour. Of course, that’s a very simplistic view, as Poulter has to be playing well enough to make the team, but it’s been historically true.
I’d recommend taking an overall bet, a few matchups, and maybe a singles parlay if your sports book can take it. It should be a fun week.