EVEN if JK Rowling was part of the Ryder Cup marketing team she could not have scripted a more magical build-up to the 2018 edition than yesterday's events at East Lake.
The sight of hundreds of golfing fans scampering up the 18th fairway, trying to catch glimpes of Tiger Woods' remarkable winning comeback were reminiscent of Rocky Balboa running through the streets of Philadelphia with the city's kids in his wake in the Holywood blockbuster.
Less than a year ago Tiger was 1199th in the world after his latest round of spinal fusion surgery, one of many multiple operations in his long road to recovery. Yesterday he completed a fairytale return to the top by claiming the Tour Championship, his 80th PGA Tour title.
Before the winning putt was sunk, “U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A” was being belted out by the fans in clear anticipation of the Ryder Cup challenge that lies ahead for Tiger and his 11 teammates this weekend.
But it wasn't all about the return of Tiger yesterday. Almost lost among the noise was the fact Justin Rose secured the FedEx Cup, which determines the season-long PGA Tour champion, netting a cool $10m in the process. The golf may not have been pretty but the Englishman sealed his win with a top-five finish, although his tied fourth placed did cost him his world No.1 spot.
We're all set for a brilliant weekend of golfing and betting action so let's take a look at the odds for some of the most popular markets.
Who will win the Ryder Cup Odds?
Two years after a convincing 17-11 victory at Hazeltine, Team USA will head to Paris as the betting favourites but they've not won the trophy in Europe since 1993. Undoubtedly they have the stronger looking team on paper but home advantage can often count for a point or two.
USA are generally available around the 4/5 mark but you can get 10/11 on them at 188Bet. As for Europe, they're best priced at 11/8 (888Sport, Unibet). The draw, which would see Jim Furyk's side retain the trophy is avalaible at 12/1 (Ladbrokes, 10Bet).
What will the Ryder Cup Correct Score be?
With 28 points up for grabs, betting on the final score of the Ryder Cup is notoriously difficult. The margin of victory seldom plays any part in the thinking of the team captains, it's all about getting over the line and we've seen games halved in the past on the final day, when the team's victory has already been secured.
Bookies make a two-point win for Team USA the most likely outcome, pricing 15-13 up as short as 7/1, but also available at 9/1 (188Bet). Next best is a one-point win for the US, 14.5-13.5 is 10/1 with 188Bet.
Top American Player
New world No.1 Dustin Johnson leads the way for the Americans at 5/1 (Ladbrokes, William Hill). Making his fourth Ryder Cup appearance, the 34-year-old will no doubt be entrusted with plenty of opportunities to pick up points by Furyk.
Brooks Koepka is next in the betting. He made a successful debut at the Ryder Cup in 2016, winning three of the four points he competed for. He's 6/1 to top score for Team USA.
Tiger's win yesterday has seen him come in as short as 11/2 in places (he was 9/1 last week) but you can still get 8/1 at Boylesports, Ladbrokes and 188Bet. Be wary though, he may be given a rest in favour of some of the younger boys on the team.
- Dustin Johnson 5/1 (Ladbrokes, BetBright)
- Brooks Koepka 6/1 (Bet365, BetVictor)
- Justin Thomas 7/1 (Ladbrokes, William Hill)
- Jordan Spieth 8/1 (Boylesports, Sportingbet)
- Tiger Woods 8/1 (Ladbrokes, Boylesports)
- Patrick Reed 11/1 (Bet365)
- Rickie Fowler 12/1 (Boylesports)
- Bryson DeChambeau 12/1 (Skybet)
- Webb Simpson 25/1 (Bet365)
- Bubba Watson 28/1 (Bet365)
- Phil Mickelson 33/1 (Bet365)
Top European Player
Rory McIlroy couldn't get going in the final day of the Tour Championship but he's still joint favourite to be Europe's top points scorer at Le Golf National this weekend. The Northern Irishman will be playing in his fifth consecutive Ryder Cup in France and has a decent record of W9-L6-H4.
Sharing favouritism is Rose who has had a fantastic season and is a Ryder Cup veteran. Like McIlroy he's played 19 ties in the competition and has a win rate of 63%. Captain Thomas Bjørn will be hoping for more of the same from a man who will surely feature more than most in the European side.
- Rory McIlroy 5/1 (Ladbrokes, BetVictor)
- Justin Rose 5/1 (BetVictor, BetBright)
- Francesco Molinari 9/1 (Bet365, Ladbrokes)
- Tommy Fleetwood 9/1 (Boylesports, 888Sport)
- Jon Rahm 9/1 (BetVictor, 10Bet)
- Henrik Stenson 11/1 (Unibet, 888Sport)
- Ian Poulter 12/1 (Sportingbet)
- Sergio Garcia 14/1 (188Bet)
- Paul Casey 14/1 (Boylesports, 888Sport)
- Alex Noren 18/1 (10Bet)
- Tyrell Hatton 25/1 (William Hill)
- Thorbjorn Olesen 28/1 (Boylesports, Sportingbet)
Remember when betting on top points scorer this is a market that is often tied, so you may find your odds halved, thirded or worse, depending on the number of players that finish on the highest number of points per side.
Ryder Cup Hole-In-One Odds
Only six players have scored a hole-in-one in the tournament's history; Peter Butler (Murfield 1973), Nick Faldo (The Belfry 1993), Constantino Rocca (Oak Hill 1995), Howard Clark (Oak Hill 1995), Paul Casey (K Club 2006) and Scott Verplank (K Club 2006).
The eagle-eyed among you will notice that four of those occurred at two tournamant so in fact only FOUR Ryder Cups have seen a hole-in-one. Therefore you'd expect the odds on one being scored in this year's tournament to be pretty tasty? Think again.
You can get just 9/2 (bet365) on an ace being recorded across the weekend while it's a measly 1/8 on there being no hole-in-one. It looks like a bet best left alone.
Best of luck whichever markets you choose to bet on in the Ryder Cup, it's sure to be another spell-binding adventure.