This is one of the burning questions on the lips of golf fans around the world.
As the clock ticks around to the start of the next Ryder Cup in Rome, Italy, many onlookers are keen to know the likely make-up of Team Europe and Team USA.
Memories of Europe’s painful 2021 defeat live on
After Europe suffered a humbling 19-9 loss to the USA at Whistling Straits in 2021, it’s perhaps no surprise to see the latest golf odds markets have the Americans priced as odds-on (-120) to prevail again in Rome. This price may shorten still if the absence of certain European players and the presence of certain American players resonates with golf bettors in the coming weeks.
Europe is shunning LIV Golf members
In fact, the current Ryder Cup betting odds of +138 on Team Europe to win on home soil seems somewhat short considering several top European players remain ineligible to represent their team. Long-serving European stars Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, and Lee Westwood are all set to miss the cut. That’s because Europe’s selection rules state players must be members of the DP World Tour to feature. All three resigned their registrations for the DP World Tour after joining the LIV Tour in 2022.
Although Northern Irishman, Rory McIlroy, believes their absence won’t make a difference to the performance of Team Europe, Garcia is the record points scorer for Europe in the Ryder Cup, with 28-and-a-half points registered in 10 appearances.
Westwood’s presence has been similarly influential, having been part of seven winning teams in his 11 appearances for Team Europe. Poulter has always proven to be a maverick for the Ryder Cup occasion too, having failed to lose a singles match in any of his seven appearances for Team Europe.
Team USA appears happier to welcome LIV Golf stars
Team USA has a very consistent look to it going into Rome 2023. The likes of Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay, Brian Harman, Wyndham Clark, Xander Schauffele, and Max Homa are all nailed on to the feature. One LIV player who is in line to feature for Team USA is Brooks Koepka. Crucially, American LIV players have been made available for the Ryder Cup, allowing the five-time Major winner a shot at qualifying.
In terms of ranking points, Koepka came within a whisker of automatic qualification, missing by around 30 points. However, his presence as part of the team could tilt the scales firmly in USA’s favor. Davis Love III recently admitted Koepka is one who genuinely “adds something to the team”, laying the groundwork for his inclusion in Rome.
LIV Golf’s merger with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour rumbles on
While the Ryder Cup is taking most of golf’s airtime at present, the clock is ticking on the PGA Tour’s proposed merger deal with LIV Golf, which is exclusively funded by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF). In June, a “framework agreement” between the PGA Tour, PIF, and the DP World Tour, was announced to the world, aiming to bring together the world’s best golfers again and hand back control to the PGA Tour over the long-term future of men’s professional golf.
The proposed deal has an end date of December 31, 2023, for all parties to reach a definitive agreement and sign a binding contract. Jay Monahan, commissioner of the PGA Tour, remains confident a deal can be struck, bringing an end to the “divisive nature” of the sport in the last 12 months.