Category - Major Events
Solheim Cup Betting Guide: Who Wins in Spain?
By Keith Stewart, PGA
(Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
The two most exciting events in professional golf are about to take place in back-to-back weeks!
The Solheim Cup starts this Friday, September 22, at Finca Cortesin in Andalucía, Spain. Twelve of the best American women will compete in three days of match play competition against the best Europe has to offer. The following week in Rome, Italy, all eyes will be on the American and European sides as they compete in the 2023 Ryder Cup matches.
Let’s begin on the coast in Spain just above Gibraltar overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Finca Cortesin is a beautiful golf destination with amazing topography and stunning sunrise views. The hillside terrain layout covers over five miles from start to finish. The par 71 scorecard stretches 6,318 yards. The routing offers nine par 4s, four par 5s, and five par 3s. The Solheim Cup has a special format and one that must be carefully considered before we go ahead and pick the winner.
The competition will begin on Friday morning with four foursomes (alternate shot) matches. The afternoon complement to the morning matches will be four fourball matches. The same morning and afternoon schedule will be followed again on Saturday. Each match is worth a point if you win and a half point if tied after 18 holes. Sunday concludes with 12 individual singles matches. The first team to 14.5 points will be the winner. Should the two teams tie at 14 points, the Solheim Cup will be retained by the team who currently holds it, in this case Europe.
These are the eighteenth matches which started back in 1990. The American side holds a 10-7 edge in the previous 17. Both teams have winning records at home (US 7-2, Europe 5-3) and losing records away (US 3-5, Europe 2-7). The European team is going for three cup wins in a row! Currently, the odds to win are basically even between the two teams. The moneyline for Team USA is +110 and Team Europe +105. If you can’t decide who will win feel free to wager a tie between the two sides at +1300.
At first glance, the U.S. Team catches your eye. Their average Rolex World ranking is 24 as compared to the Europeans who have an average ranking of 42. The U.S. side is younger (average age 26), but they also have five rookies. The Europeans have just three debutants and an average age of 28. Age doesn’t matter as much as experience and the Europeans have played collectively in 31 Solheim Cups. The U.S. players have only 15 total matches. Dig a little deeper and the two sides separate even more.
The European Team has an aggregate Solheim Cup record of 62-43-13 (68.5 points). The U.S. record is 24-26-13 (30.5 points). I will cheer for the U.S. side, but for those betting, Europe’s edge is significant. Did I mention we were playing in Spain?
The U.S. women have a lower average world ranking so that must help. Upon further review, the analytics tell a decidedly different story. On average, Europe’s players are ranked better in every strokes gained category, but one (around the green). The Europeans are decidedly better as a team tee-to-green, off the tee, on approach, and putting. Finca Cortesin has five par 3s, and iron play will be one of the major differentiating factors. All four par 5s are even numbered holes. If Captains Stacy Lewis or Suzanne Pettersen pair a powerful ball striker with a great putter . . . think of that edge in foursomes.
These matches always involve an incredible amount of pressure packed golf. Music, fans, and face paint aside, the European team has a considerable edge in depth and experience.
Over the course of 28 matches U.S. weaknesses will show up. My prediction, Team Europe will win and retain the Solheim Cup.
If picking the winner goes against your American pride, I completely understand. There are more pre-match bets available, and I’ve covered those in a pre-match proposition “prop” bet preview. My apologies to the American side. I surely wish for there to be an upset in Spain, but successful betting happens when we put our emotions aside. In that case, for this Solheim Cup, blue and yellow truly do make green.
Keith Stewart is an award-winning PGA of America Golf Professional. He covers the LPGA and PGA TOUR for Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, LPGA, and PGA TOUR. If you are looking to raise your golf acumen and love inside information about the game, check out his weekly newsletter called Read The Line.