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Ready for the Ryder Cup 2021 Countdown

Ready for the Ryder Cup 2021 Countdown

Summary
 

After the disappointing (but wholly understandable) postponement of last year’s Ryder Cup, the countdown can now commence. Finally. The 43rd edition is slated to take place at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin, so no changes there. And these are the dates golf fans around the world are circling on their kitchen calendars: September 21-26, 2021.  

Why Was the Ryder Cup Postponed? 

The basic answer is obvious, Covid-19. But the reason it was canceled as early as July 8, 2020, is the preparation work that is involved in a golf tournament. Unlike the NFL or NBA, for example, golf doesn’t necessarily have the required facilities in place for big tournaments. 

For the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, PGA of America plans to build and organize additional facilities to host the expected number of visitors, including athletes, their entourages, as well as members of the public and press. 

Given the level of uncertainty and considering advice from the CDC, PGA of America CEO made the call to pull the plug. Some considered it premature, but a quick check of Covid-19 news now makes the decision an obvious one. 

The Effects of the Change 

The decision to postpone the 2020 Ryder Cup to the following year means that all subsequent editions will now also take place in odd years. For example, the Marco Simon Golf and Country Club in Rome, Italy, will now host the next edition in 2023. And fans will now be able to attend the Bethpage Black Ryder Cup in Farmingdale, New York, in 2025. You get the idea. 

Not only that, but organizers have also decided that the Presidents Cup will also be pushed back a year. The original dates were September 30-October 3, 2021, but we’ll now see our favourite golfers between September 19-25, 2022. The venue stays the same, at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

In addition, teams have been forced to make changes to their selection criteria. US players will now have all points earned since the qualifiers began in 2019 counted as part of the process. The time to accrue these points was also extended, right through to the 2021 BMW Championship, which takes place between August 26-29. Points will determine six players on the roster, while captain Steve Stricker will round off the team with six of his own picks. This will happen after the 2021 Tour Championship, which ends on September 5. 

For their European counterparts, the top four on the points list will make the roster. The top five from the World Point List (and who didn’t already qualify from the European ranking) will also join the team. The captain, Irishman Padraig Harrington, makes the last three picks. 

Europeans = Underdogs? 

Even though Europe is entering the tournament as champions (and winners of seven of the last nine), they were long seen as underdogs coming into the 2020 edition. The superior talent (10 out of the World top-15 call the United States home) as well as ‘home court’ advantage were cited as the two biggest reasons. 

Is that still the case? Yes. Most experts are predicting the convincing United States win. In fact, betting guides have made Team USA even stronger favourites in recent months, with the future bets heavily against the boys from Europe. And we all know how much excitement early futures bring to the Ryder Cup, since, as explained on LegalBetting, the most popular futures bets in golf tend to be precisely on who will win one of the Majors or the next Ryder Cup. For the USA, these numbers are ‘grande’ and we are slowly approaching the final countdown.

There’s a reason why the tide is turning even stronger in Team USA’s favour. The European Ryder Cup team is ageing, with several linchpins from previous successes coming up against Father Time. With yet another year gone by, the team is going to suffer. Sure, a young player may rise up and surprise us, but with the tournament roughly nine months away, there’s little chance they’ll replace the performances of past legends. 

Let the Countdown Begin? 

Predictions, expectations, press hype. It all doesn’t matter. When it comes right down to it, players have to perform on the green. Team USA may be the favourites going into 2021, but plenty can change before September. 

In all honesty, most fans probably care a little bit less about who comes out as the winner. With the year we’ve all had, let’s just be happy that the Ryder Cup is coming back in 2021.

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