2018 Ryder Cup Most Anticipated Match-ups & Probable Pairings
There's not long to wait now until the all-important pairings are announced for the Ryder Cup. Exactly who will be picked to play together is one of the key strategies in the quest for success at golf’s showpiece biennial event. When it comes to 2018 Ryder Cup odds, the right pairings can have a big impact on either team’s chance of success.
Thursday is the last chance for the players to practice on L’Albatros course in France ahead of the 2018 Ryder Cup opening ceremony. Following the final warm-up session, the teams from Europe and the USA will gather at the Palace of Versailles and the pairings will be made public for Friday’s eagerly anticipated tee-off.
Why Are The Ryder Cup Pairings So Important?
The job description for a Ryder Cup captain may require Jim Furyk and Thomas Bjørn to be tactician, coach, motivator and counsellor to each of their team members. But success or failure often comes down to picking the right two-man combos capable of winning points against the opposition.
Some describe it as a science, some an art form, but the picking of the pairs often involves a gut feel for which players will feed off their partner and complement each other’s game.
Who wins the Ryder Cup often comes down to picking the most effective duos, and who to put together in the first morning's fourballs versus who to hold back for the afternoon’s foursomes.
Eight golfers from Team Europe and eight from Team USA will feature in each session, with four sitting out. So, who goes with who?
Ryder Cup 2018 Team USA Probable Pairings
If the American team pretty much picked itself, then it seems the pairings will follow suit. There are some really obvious duos in this formidable-looking Team USA squad.
While huge crowds would follow a Phil Mickelson/Tiger Woods pairing, such a tactical match-up seems unlikely. The duo were the best players in the world back in 2004 when they were put together at Oakland Hills, but they promptly lost both of their matches as Europe retained the trophy. Team USA captain Jim Furyk has already laughed off the suggestion of a repeat, so who does he pair together?
Bryson DeChambeau and Tiger Woods
Matching up the fiery rookie with America’s elder statesman would combine experience with excitement. DeChambeau enjoyed an excellent matchplay record as an amateur while Woods has never really shone in such environments. So this looks to be a complementary duo – especially since the pair seem to get on well.
Tony Finau and Phil Mickelson
Mickelson will be making a record 12th Ryder Cup appearance, with Finau there on debut. The pair have played together previously, and both have been complimentary about each other’s game and personality. Mickelson has also been put with rookies before, making this pairing even more likely.
Jordan Speith and Patrick Reid
The most obvious pairing in the team, Speith and Reid have a great record as a two-some in the Ryder Cup. The pair played together at Gleneagles and Hazeltine and boast a 4-1-2 record. Splitting up such an effective pair would probably be a dumb thing to do.
Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler
These two are good friends and, with this being Thomas’ first Ryder Cup, having a pal alongside him through the nervous opening holes will help. The pair have similar games, combining consistent iron play with solid putting so they could be unleashed on the foursomes with results.
Among the others, Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson worked well together in 2012, and placing Dustin Johnson with Brooks Koepka would pair two buddies who currently sit inside the top four world rankings to create a formidable duo.
Ryder Cup 2018 Team Europe Probable Pairings
The Europeans have five rookies in their ranks, so mixing experience with fresh faces will inevitably be the strategy for captain Thomas Bjørn. The Team Europe pairings are nowhere near as obvious as those in the American squad.
Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose
World number one Rose will almost certainly be unleashed from the get-go, as will five-time Ryder Cup stalwart Stenson. The duo have a great record together in previous matches and are as reliable a pair as Team Europe gets.
Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter
McIlroy is one to watch again at the 2018 Ryder Cup. The Northern Irishman truly embraces the competition and will feed off the emotion pouring out of the European crowd. Paired together in 2012, McIlroy and Poulter produced some truly exciting golf to inspire the ‘Miracle at Medinah’.
Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm
Putting together the two Spaniards could either be an audacious throwback to the glory days of Ballesteros and Olazabal or a kamikaze combo which crashes and burns. The spluttering Garcia could benefit from a spark and Rahm could be the man to bring it. Dare Bjørn put them together for one session? Alternatively, the in-form Thorbjorn Oleson could be the choice to temper Garcia’s current hit-and-miss game.
Jon Rahm to be the top Spaniard at the Ryder Cup is 2/3* at Bet UK's online betting feature.
Paul Casey and One of the Rookies
Casey is included in the team for his reliability and experience which means he has to be put with a solid rookie. Making his fourth Ryder Cup appearance, the Englishman will either pair up with Tommy Fleetwood or Tyrrell Hatton. Among the others, Alex Noren and Francesco Molinari are two solid ball-strikers who could be put with pretty much anyone in a bid to steadily pick up points.
Get the latest Ryder Cup betting odds at Bet UK's online betting throughout the tournament. Alongside our normal markets, we also have a number of Bet UK Boosts for selected markets, including some from our Golf Expert's Ryder Cup Betting Tips. Our Ryder Cup News page will be following the build up to the Ryder Cup this weekend.
*All odds from Bet UK’s online sportsbook correct at the time of writing.