Ryder Cup Fantasy: Building a Roster
The 43rd Ryder Cup offers fans a great opportunity to get involved while watching all the action unfold at Whistling Straits.
Ryder Cup Fantasy is open to all registered participants, and all U.S. citizens ages 18 and over can qualify for prizes. Fans can register to compete at Fantasy.RyderCup.com or within the official Ryder Cup App.
Participants are asked to identify which players from the U.S. Team and European Team will earn the most points across the three days of matches this week in Wisconsin. Participants choose six players for their fantasy roster, including any combination of American and European names, and will earn points just as the players do this week: one point for a match victory, either as an individual or part of a team, and a half-point if a selected golfer is part of a tie.
The goal is to earn as many fantasy points as possible, but participants will also need to navigate a pair of tiebreaker questions: how many total holes will be played this week at the Ryder Cup, and how many of those holes will end in a tie. These will be used to determine an individual’s overall ranking, as well as their ranking within any groups they have chosen to join. Participants can make changes to their roster until the first scheduled tee time Friday, and can even create private groups to compete with friends and family.
While there are a number of strategic options available, here’s a look at the golfers I plan to include on my fantasy roster this week:
Justin Thomas (U.S.): Dustin Johnson may be the oldest player on the American Team, but Thomas feels like the emotional leader. After a strong Ryder Cup debut three years ago in Paris, he appears ready and eager to tackle a full slate of matches and will likely pair with Jordan Spieth at some point during the first two days in what should by a dynamic duo for U.S. Captain Steve Stricker.
Xander Schauffele (U.S.): Part of an incredibly decorated group of U.S. rookies, Schauffele will make his debut this week with an Olympic gold medal hanging in his locker. After a successful pairing with Patrick Cantlay at the 2019 Presidents Cup I’m expecting more of the same, and I think Schauffele has the mix of cool demeanor and emotional fire that could fit especially well for a Ryder Cup on home soil. Expect him to put up points in bunches this week for the red, white and blue.
Bryson DeChambeau (U.S.): DeChambeau has gotten plenty of attention in recent months for his unique style of play, but it’s one that could pay dividends this week on the Straits Course. No one on either team can compete with his advantage off the tee, and he should be able to be particularly aggressive in Four-Ball sessions. The partisan crowds will also give an emotional player an extra boost, and DeChambeau could feed significantly from a welcoming environment in his first Ryder Cup on home soil.
Jon Rahm (Europe): The Spaniard is the world No. 1, and for good reason. Rahm seems like a virtual lock to play all five matches, and European Captain Padraig Harrington will need his best player to deliver if his side hopes to retain the Cup. Rahm’s on-course accolades speak for themselves, and he seems like he should be a particularly strong fit for Whistling Straits.
Sergio Garcia (Europe): He’s the top all-time point earner for a reason. Garcia tends to rise to the occasion with great regularity at the Ryder Cup, regardless of recent form or venue. He’ll be looked to as one of the leaders of an already experienced European Team, and his penchant for success in Foursomes will once again be a particularly strong asset. There may be more salt and pepper in the beard these days, but Garcia will still play like the 19-year-old phenom that thrived in the 1999 Ryder Cup at Brookline.
Viktor Hovland (Europe): I’m expecting big things this week out of Norway’s first Ryder Cup participant. Hovland’s match play credentials include a U.S. Amateur win and a national championship at Oklahoma State, and he has had little issue adjusting to the pro ranks. The practice round tee sheets indicate a possible pairing with Rory McIlroy could be in the works at some point this week, which I think could be particularly successful.
Tiebreaker 1: How many holes will be played over the entire Ryder Cup?
There would be 448 total holes played if each of the 28 matches concluded after 16 holes. I think we could be in for a few nail-biters this week, so I’m going with 458 total holes played.
Tiebreaker 2: How many total holes will be tied over the entire Ryder Cup?
This depends on how close you expect the average match to be – as well as how often you think players will trade birdies and bogeys. Each match featuring 10 tied holes would mean 280, but I think we’re in for more of a back-and-forth battle with plenty of red and blue on the scoreboard. I went with 246 total holes tied.