We're less than 24 hours away from the opening tee shot at the 2023 Ryder Cup and the pairings have been announced for the opening session! If you want my pick for who will lift the trophy, you can find that here.
Ryder Cup Round 1 Pairings
- Scheffler/Burns vs. Rahm/Hatton
- Homa/Harman vs. Hovland/Aberg
- Fowler/Morikawa vs. Lowry/Straka
- Schauffele/Cantlay vs. McIlroy/Fleetwood
Ryder Cup Round 1 Best Bets
Rahm/Hatton +115 vs. Scheffler/Burns
I know Scottie Scheffler is the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world and I know that he and Sam Burns have great chemistry, but with that being said, I'm not a fan of them as a foursome pairing. The way both of them have played this season, four-ball would play much better to their strengths.
Burns can score birdies at as high of a rate as anyone, but his occasional wayward shots are going to leave Scheffler in tough spots from time-to-time. Meanwhile, alternate shot is going to mean Scheffler is going to have to hit some big putts. Do you trust him to hit a shaky 6-footer to halve a hole in a pivotal moment? I sure don't.
Jon Rahm has a 2-0 foursome record in his Ryder Cup history and Hatton is 0-1, but the two have yet to play with each other so if there's one potential red flag for this pairing is their potential lack of chemistry. With that being said, their style of play and recent form fits a foursome match and I think they walk away with the win.
Hovland/Aberg -110 vs. Homa/Harman
I love Max Homa and Brian Harman as a pairing for a foursome match. I think their style of play compliments each other well, so it's a shame they have to play against what might end up being the premier duo of the event.
No two golfers enter the Ryder Cup in better form than Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg. Hovland won his two recent PGA Tour events, including the 2023 Tour Championship, and then followed it up with a strong 5th place finish at the BMW PGA Championship on the DP World Tour two weeks ago. Every aspect of his game is firing on all cylinders.
Meanwhile, Ludvig Aberg won his first professional event, the Omega European Masters earlier this month, and has finished T14 or better in four straight events. We already know he's one of the best drivers of the golf ball in the world, but now his approach play has been just as hot.
In my opinion, this is the most lopsided matchup of Round 1.
Fowler/Morikawa vs. Lowry/Straka DRAW +600
I'm going to take a shot at an aggressive play and bet on this match to end in a draw at +600. There's no arguing that Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa are the more talented pairing, but Fowler doesn't have a strong record in these events. He's just 6-7-7 in team match play, including specifically 3-4-5 in foursomes.
I'm also of the belief Marco Simone fits Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka's style of play better. Straka is certainly the least talented of this group, but this course demands strong play with your long irons and that's Straka's best strength.
I lean Fowler and Morikawa to win, but I'm going to take a shot on this match being halved at 6/1.
Schauffele/Cantlay +120 vs. McIlroy/Fleetwood
I'm going to back Schauffele and Cantlay in the marquee matchup of the opening session. No pairing has as much experience playing with each other as these two guys, competing on a yearly basis as a team at the Zurich Classic and winning it in 2022. These two also went 2-0 in forusome matches at the 2021 Ryder Cup, beating Rory McIlroy (and Ian Poulter) in one of those matches by a score of 5 and 3.
Rory McIlroy, despite being the biggest name in golf, doesn't have the history at the Ryder Cup you'd expect, especially in team play. He went 0-3 in team play at the 2021 Ryder Cup and 2-2 in team play at the 2018 Ryder Cup.
This is a fun matchup, but I have to back the dynamic duo of Schauffele and Cantlay.
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
You can check out all of Iain's bets here!