The phoney war is over, the first pairings selected and in my case the bets laid. My guru Jeremy Chapman advises a tie or one point win either way (14.5/13.5) with wagers on Joe Rahm as top debutant and Francesco Molinari and Webb Simpson as top European and American respectively.
The rationale for a tie or narrow victory either way is that the USA have not won on foreign soil for 25 years, they are unfamiliar with the course and their power game is unsuited to Le Golf National which requires accuracy rather than big hitting.
Personally I don’t think the 25 years means anything, it’s a record to be broken but I was surprised that only Justin Thomas of the USA team entered the French Open to familiarise himself with the course.
That said, Molinari’s game of cast iron accuracy is particularly well suited to a course where traditionally he has done well.
I keep on coming back to my view that the Americans are capable of winning 8 of the 12 singles, that whoever Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Webb Simpson, Ricky Fowler or Bubba Watson are paired against they will emerge victorious.
Okay, Fedex cup winner Justin Rose is capable of winning against any golfer on the planet but can Sergio Garcia beat any of those on present form?
I think not.
Its all conjecture but what is not open to doubt is for sheer excitement the the Ryder Cup takes some beating as well as betting.
Justin Rose may now have $10m of Fedex moolah in his bank account and for all I know be pro-Brexit but he will be as focused as anyone on winning back the Cup for the Europeans.
Let battle commence !