2021 Ryder Cup Day 2 Best Bets: Run It Back with the Americans in Foursomes
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What an opening day it was for the American team at the 43rd Ryder Cup! They were dominant throughout the day en route to a 6-2 opening lead as they lost just one match on Friday at Whistling Straits.
The first match on Friday morning was the only one the Europeans would win outright as Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia beat Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth 2&1 to open the event.
It was all Stars and Stripes on the leaderboards from there as the next three foursome matches were swept, without too much trouble.
That momentum would carry on into the afternoon.
There were some surprising pairings for the fourball matches Friday afternoon, especially on the USA side as a couple of the dominant morning teams were split up.
It wouldn’t matter much in the end though as Xander Schauffele switched to Dustin Johnson, but produced the same runaway result. Tony Finau and Harris English also rolled through their match, but the other two matches went go the full 18 holes.
Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler would stare down World No. 1 Jon Rahm and his partner, Tyrell Hatton, to go back and fourth throughout the match. There were plenty of fireworks on both sides, including a 417-yard drive from Bryson and multiple moments of each team seemingly one-upping the other. In the end, they would halve the match.
The final match of the day would have the same result as Justin Thomas and Patrick Cantlay scrapped their way back to earn a half point.
Tommy Fleetwood was the strongest player of that group for much of the round as he seemed to make every putt he looked at on the front nine. He and partner Viktor Hovland went 3 up through 8. The Americans would win three of the final eleven holes to earn the half point.
USA will go into Day 2 with a 6-2 advantage, it’s largest opening day lead since 1975. There are still 20 points to be played for this weekend, but it was an ideal start for the red, white, and blue.
They will roll out the same foursomes on Saturday morning, while the Europeans make a couple of changes to try to make up some ground.
Let’s take a look at those matchups to find our favorite bets for the second day at Whistling Straits.
Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay over Lee Westwood/Matt Fitzpatrick -180
I will start by saying that I hate laying big odds in matchplay formats because truly anything can happen. The reason I am still going to here is that I honestly don’t think -180 is enough in this particular situation.
Schauffele and Cantlay were dialed in as they rolled up wins in the first six holes against Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter on Friday morning. They separately carried that into the afternoon for another 1.5 points.
These two guys are documented as close friends and have been rolling in foursome matches together dating back to the President’s Cup.
Meanwhile, Westwood and Fitzpatrick were a questionable pairing for me going into Day 1 and I’m absolutely shocked they are running it back. I will eat the juice here and lay the number on the top American squad against what I see as a really weak pair from Europe.
Dustin Johnson/Collin Morikawa over Paul Casey/Tyrell Hatton -135
One of the biggest stories of the opening day was just how good Dustin Johnson was in both of his matches. He was the vintage version that we saw last fall at The Masters, just absolutely dominating throughout the day.
He and Morikawa paired together in the morning on Friday to beat Paul Casey and Viktor Hovland 3&2 as they dominated down the back nine.
Morikawa and his back issues also appeared to be fine as he was dialed in on approach and both players were sinking putts.
I don’t see any reason to think that they will be any different as a team on Saturday and their cohesion from Friday can only help in their second match.
The odds seem about right at -135 for this matchup, but it’s one where I give a strong edge to the Americans.