The wait is almost over ahead of the 40th running of the Ryder Cup, which takes place at the end of September and sees hosts Europe priced at 11/20 to win their third intercontinental prize in a row, and their fifth consecutive victory on home soil.
With bwin.com offering multiple markets for the second Scottish spectacle set for this month, we’re flagging up the shrewd picks to take on 7/2 favourite and world number one Rory McIlroy in the European top points-scorer betting.
Lee Westwood @ 14/1
There’s a key reason why the current world number 40 was handed a wild card by Team Europe captain Paul McGinley, and it’s certainly not his patchy 2014 form.
Westwood will go into his ninth successive Ryder Cup as the joint second-highest European four-ball match winner in the event’s history, while just five players from this side of the Atlantic have claimed more points from foursomes.
In fact, only four Europeans have managed to outscore the Nottinghamshire native all told since the tournament’s incarnation in 1927, so Westwood is clearly not without a chance of besting all his teammates at Gleneagles.
Ian Poulter @ 7/1
An easy case to make, as the Hertfordshire swinger has topped the pile for Europe in each of the last three tournaments.
Poulter’s backable price can only be put down to a tricky year for the 38-year-old on the PGA Tour, which has seen him slip to 37th in the world.
With form temporary and matchplay class permanent, don’t be put off.
Sergio Garcia @ 11/2
Had he not ruled himself out of the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, due to a collapse in form, the Spaniard would surely boast a similar record in the event to Westwood by now.
Prior to Colin Montgomerie’s men winning on that occasion, Garcia held the highest points-per-match record of any European player in history by some margin, and bagged another couple of wins during ‘The Miracle at Medinah’ two years later.
The current world number three has looked better than ever this year, with a tied-second at the masters equalling his top finish in a major, so Garcia also gets the nod to put it up to McIlroy.