Q&A with Star’s head of golf GLENN DAY – Football & Racing News – Star Sports

The Ryder Cup has arrived. After two years of waiting, Team Europe will finally have a chance to win back the trophy after suffering a historic defeat to the US in 2021 at Whistling Straits.

This time around, the tournament is back on European soil as Italy’s Marco Simone Golf & Country Club hosts the top American and European players.

Headlining the US side this week is World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler (pictured below) and on the European side is No. 2 Rory McIlroy. Can the Northern Irishman and this new European Team find revenge for last time, or will Scheffler and the US retain the trophy?

We spoke to Star Sports’ Head of Golf Glenn Day for more insight into what to expect this week, players to look out for, and the unique markets that Star Sports are offering.

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Glenn Day Ryder Cup Q&A

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Q: From a trading perspective, what’s the difference between the Ryder Cup and a normal golf tournament? ⛳

A: Wagering for the ‘winner’ has been ongoing for 2 years so that is not normally the busiest market come the week. Usual stroke play events will generally have 120+ participants so with only 3 outcomes the betting side of the event does not live up to the enormity of the occasion. In-play can be fairly lively, especially in a close fought affair and that is always what we hope for.

Customers look at the top points scorers etc for a bit more value pricewise and try to eek out some value in the deluge of specials/other markets.

There is always a lot of interest in the ‘matches’ and the announcement of the opening session pairings is greatly anticipated.

Q: What do you think of Captain Luke Donald choosing to start with Foursomes as the opening session over Four-ball? ⛳

A: I am not sure it will have much of an impact. Over the last 3 Ryder Cups the first session has twice been fourballs and once foursomes. So it has been tinkered with. The scoring over that period, in sessions for Europe :- Fourballs 3 wins, 2 losses and 1 tie. Foursomes 2 wins, 3 losses and 1 tie. So not much in it. A big thing is made of the fact the Europeans are more of a ‘team’ and I guess in foursomes that element is called upon more with the alternate shot process. We shall see.

Q: What are the key differences between this year’s teams and what we saw at the last Ryder Cup (Whistling Straits, 2021)? ⛳

A: The biggest difference is the lack of LIV assigned players. No doubt Dustin Johnson & Bryson DeChambeau would be in the team if they were still affiliated to the PGA. DeChambeau particularly has been in terrific form of late. The inclusion of Brooks Koepka feels a little of a cop out to keep the naysayers at bay, and since his inclusion he has gone off the boil somewhat.

The European team has a lost a few of its Ryder Cup stalwarts to LIV including Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter and go into this with a team full of potential but lacking Ryder Cup experience.

Q: Who are a few players to watch this week at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club? Is there anyone you think suits this course in particular? ⛳

A: An obvious one I know but I think Jon Rahm (pictured below) will play well this week. He seems to thrive in the Ryder Cup environment. He had a great start to the year winning 4 times, including a first green jacket at Augusta and after a bit of a midseason lull he has looked backed to near his best recently. 4th place at Wentworth was another good performance to lead into Ryder Cup week. He has not previously played at Marco Simone but all courses come alike to the big Spaniard and as long as he has a good driving week he will be a formidable opponent for whoever is standing opposite him from the USA.

Q: On the flip side, is there anyone that you think could struggle on this specific course or in a team-event setting? ⛳

A: I cant see Justin Thomas having a good week. Despite a glimmer of form shown at the recent Fortinet Championship he has been very poor for a while now. His inclusion was quite baffling in all honesty. He has formed a formidable partnership with lifelong friend Jordan Spieth in previous Ryder Cups but that will count for nothing this week on a tough track that will find you out if you are out of sorts. It would not be the biggest surprise to see Thomas and Spieth split and Thomas playing no more than 2 matches.

Q: Thoughts on this year’s group of Ryder Cup rookies? Any standouts? ⛳

A: They look a pretty decent bunch! Plenty of winners amongst them including Ludvig Aberg who was being touted as the next big thing all week during the BMW PGA by the TV commentators only to fall away on Sunday. Im sure he will win many more events but already carries a weight of expectancy on his shoulders and I feel this week, only months after turning pro, will come too soon.

Another ‘rookie’ I like is Sepp Straka (pictured below). For a few years on the PGA tour he looked like one of the those guys who would be around for 4/5 years without making much impact but something has clicked in the last 18 months and he can now call himself a 2 time tour winner. The 30yo Austrian has a rock solid allround game. A good driver of the ball, a solid short game and a very good putter. Not surprisingly he has not played the course before but has ventured across the pond in recent weeks and put in some decent performances. You never know how many ‘gigs’ the rookies will get in a Ryder Cup but Straka could be a runner in the European version of that market.

Q: Is there anyone you think could be a dark horse this week? ⛳

A: Brian Harman is one who fits that category for me. Which is quite surprising in that he is the current Open Champion! If he gets a run out in the opening session and performs well I can see him getting the nod a few more times and he could put some points on the board for the USA. He is a solid driver, although not as long as many, and a really good putter. Watch out if that flat stick warms up!

Q: What are some unique markets that Star Sports are offering for the Ryder Cup? ⛳

A: We have a ‘how many will finish on the fairway’ market for the opening tee shots in the first session (foursomes). Will the nerves get the better of the players?

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We also have some matches and a group named Best of Enemies’. This is for which pairing will score most combined points for the Ryder Cup. We essentially graded each side, then paired a player with the opposite side in reverse order. eg European No.1 & USA no.12 v European no.12 & USA no.1, European no.2 with USA no.11 etc. This produced six 6 matches, some of which look quite interesting, and also a group of all 12.

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Many thanks to Glenn for the Q&A! One final question:

Q: What will the final score be in 2023? ⛳

A: I’ll go Europe 15.5 USA 12.5

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Author: Eugene Morris