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Getting You Ready for the 2021 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits
A Ryder Cup with no fans just wouldn’t have been the same. It took much deliberation and some concessions from both sides, but ultimately, the right decision was made. The PGA of America and Ryder Cup Europe had little choice but to reschedule the event for a later date.
From details about the venue to odds for who wins, consider this your early guide to the 2021 Ryder Cup.
When and Where is the 2021 Ryder Cup?
- When: September 24-26
- Where: Whistling Straits (Straits Course) – Sheboygan, WI
- United States Captain: Steve Stricker
- European Captain: Padraig Harrington
Particulars regarding the Ryder Cup stay the same, other than its date being pushed back until September of 2021. Whistling Straits is still hosting the proceedings, and Steve Stricker and Padraig Harrington are still the respective captains.
However, there has been a tweak to the qualifying procedures in hopes of each team putting forth their best possible squad. Europe decided to freeze its qualification process until 2021 while the United States Team has upped the number of captain’s picks from four to six.
Steve Stricker will now have six captain's picks for this year's Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. ??— Sky Sports Golf (@SkySportsGolf) June 10, 2020
Keep in mind, this amendment was made before the Ryder Cup was postponed. It remains to be seen whether or not the US team will revert to its original method.
2021 Ryder Cup Odds
Despite not knowing the makeup of each roster for several more months, the best betting sites have already released odds for the 2021 Ryder Cup. I understand why the Americans are favored, but -150 seems a bit extreme. After all, Europe dominated the last time out, winning 17.5-10.5 in France.
If you go back even further, Europe has won four of the last five Ryder Cups and seven of the last nine.
Worth noting, the Americans may have an even bigger home-course advantage in 2021, Even more so than previous editions played on US soil. Whistling Straits is located in Wisconsin, the home state of Captain Stricker. To say that Steve Stricker is beloved in the Badger State would be a massive understatement.
More on the Whistling Straits below.
The Straits Course at Whistling Straits
Set against Lake Michigan’s shores, the Straits Course at Whistling Straits is heaven on Earth. The backdrop is scenic, and the views are breathtaking, but let’s not forget about the hellish layout.
Created by Pete and Alice Dye, the par-72 track can stretch out to over 7,700 yards and features diabolical greens. Adding to the difficulty of conquering the putting surfaces are the steady 15+ mph gales that are consistent in this region.
The one saving grace for golfers who get beat up on the links in Sheboygan for 5+ hours?
The American Club in Kohler is a short drive from the course and contains one of the most luxurious spas in America. I was fortunate enough to “soak up” the experience at the Kohler Waters Spa a few summers ago. Boy, did that plunge pool send tingling feelings up and down my body.
For more on the history of Whistling Straits and specifics about the Straits Course, enjoy the following guide.
What the United States Team Could Look Like
There’s still plenty of time to leap the standings, but here’s what we can gather at this point.
Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas are locks to make the team. That matter is signed, sealed, and delivered. Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay figure to be shoo-ins, as does Bryson DeChambeau.
Aside from the obvious names who will be in the mix (Collin Morikawa, Webb Simpson, Matthew Wolff, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Tony Finau), here are three names currently on the outside looking in who I’ll be keeping tabs on.
- Rickie Fowler
- Scottie Scheffler
- Will Zalatoris
Of course, we can’t forget about Tiger Woods either.
Gauging the European Team
Due to Ryder Cup Europe’s alterations to the qualification process, the 2021 European team will consist of the players who play the best over the next nine months. Period, end of story.
We can pencil in Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy, and it’s hard to imagine Tommy Fleetwood not being at Whistling Straits.
Tyrrell Hatton and Viktor Hovland seem to be virtual locks as well, but there’s a lot of time for others to make their presence felt.
Will veteran stalwarts like Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter perform well enough to be part of the team or will young and emerging talents like Robert MacIntyre and Rasmus Hojgaard take their places?
And what about Justin Rose, Paul Casey, Francesco Molinari, and Henrik Stenson? These are all trustworthy men who have performed favorably in past Cups, yet they could very well be left off the roster.
What’s certain to be true is that Padraig Harrington will face some tough decisions in early September.