Steve Palmer provides his best bets for the 2023 Ryder Cup, which starts in Italy on Friday.
Back to win: Europe (1/1)
The United States have failed to win away from home in the Ryder Cup for 30 years – 1993 at The Belfry was the last time the Americans succeeded on the road – and that losing streak looks set to continue this week.
Seven of the last eight Ryder Cups have been won by the home side – home advantage provides such an edge – and Europe will enjoy enormous support from the giant grandstands which have been erected around this stadium course.
Seven of the European side have competitive experience of the Marco Simone from the Italian Opens which have been staged there, with Nicolai Hojgaard and Robert MacIntyre actually winning that event. None of the Americans have competed in the Italian Open.
Three of the world’s top four players are in the European line-up – Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland – and that all-star trio can propel the home team to glory
Europe are in better form and have been more active in recent weeks. while the visitors could be rusty.
Back to win and each-way: Viktor Hovland top combined points scorer (8/1)
FedEx Cup champion Viktor Hovland is the most in-form player on the planet and the Norwegian ace can end this week as top Ryder Cup points scorer.
Hovland scored only one of Europe’s nine points in the last Ryder Cup, but that was his debut in the competition, coming up against one of the best sides ever assembled in an away fixture.
This time, bursting with confidence after recent exploits, Hovland seems almost certain to make a major impact. Swedish sensation Ludvig Aberg and world number two McIlroy are potential partners over the first two days.
Hovland should play at least four matches and may end the week as the undisputed star of the event.
Back to win and each-way: Max Homa top American (9/1)
Max Homa made a magnificent Presidents Cup debut for the United States last year and there seems every chance of the Californian producing something similar in his first Ryder Cup.
Homa won all four of his matches in the Presidents Cup, despite getting the most difficult draw in the singles. He managed to overcome an inspired Tom Kim to maintain a 100 per cent record when representing America as a professional.
Close friend and fellow Californian, Collin Morikawa, seems a likely partner for Homa. That would be a formidable pairing in foursomes or fourballs and could be one of the trump cards for USA skipper Zach Johnson.
Homa has been practising foursomes golf at home in recent weeks with Wyndham Clark, who lives in the same city as him, so that is another option for Johnson
Homa is a rock-solid all-rounder who may end the week as top-scoring American.