Ryder Cup Predictions: Best Second Day 4-ball Picks, Predictions and Odds: Viktor Hovland stays hot

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Diane Knox Balas


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Diane Knox Balas loves golf (she’s Scottish, so of course she does) but let’s just say she’s much better at analyzing golf than playing! The same cannot be said for her brother, Russell Knox, who’s a 2-time winner on the PGA Tour and fueled Diane’s initial passion for the sport. A seasoned TV and radio host, Diane has given out 8 outright winners since joining the Pickswise team in April 2022. Her general rule is she has to have three stand-out reasons for each pick and spends her time studying stats, playing form and little nuggets of information from golfers’ lives on Tour. Diane lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband Garrett, son Greyson and two English Bulldogs Bowser & Barkley. You can follow her antics on Twitter @KnoxyDiane and Instagram @dianeknoxbalas. For Diane Knox Balas media enquiries, please email contact@pickswise.com.

The Europeans dared to dream that their team could dominate the opening day of the Ryder Cup and get a much-needed leg up on Team USA. It happened. A record-breaking annihilation of the Americans in the first session on Friday morning put the blue & yellows up 4-0. It was the stuff that fairytales are made of. They backed it up with a win and three tied matches in the afternoon Fourball session.

After the dominant performance by Team USA at Whistling Straits two years, it seems quite unfathomable to think that they didn’t win a single match, out of 8, on the first day of the Ryder Cup. In addition, it’s the first time in Ryder Cup history that this has occurred. Jon Rahm, who really hadn’t been firing on all cylinders during the FedExCup Playoffs, certainly lit up Marco Simone with some exceptional play, sinking a clutch putt on the final hole in his Fourball match to deny USA a flash of red on the leaderboard.

An impressive debut performance from rookie Ludvig Aberg saw him and Hovland’s Scandinavian partnership flourish, and for the first time in his Ryder Cup career, Rory McIlory took points from both of his opening matches. As the sun set over the Eternal City, Europe lead with 6.5 points to the Americans’ 1.5. For Team Europe to claim back the Cup, they have to reach 14.5 points.

Europe are now the obvious favorites to win at -550, with the U.S. at +600 (Draftkings Sportsbook). I still can’t believe it, even as I type it! Also, as I told you in my pre-contest preview, history tells us there’s a 70% chance that the team that leads after Day 1 goes onto win. We all know the U.S. team is stacked with an exceptional amount of talent, therefore you have to think that something about the partnerships was possibly off. However, not too much is changing on Saturday.

Ryder Cup Day 2 Matches

The first session on Day 2 is Foursomes, or alternate shot, and the matches look like this:

Justin Thomas & Jordan Spieth vs Rory McIlory & Tommy Fleetwood

Scottie Scheffler & Brooks Koepka vs Viktor Hovland & Ludvig Aberg

Max Homa & Brian Harman vs Shane Lowry & Sepp Straka

Patrick Cantlay & Xander Schauffele vs Jon Rahm & Tyrrell Hatton

Europe are keeping their Foursomes session exactly the same as the lineup that took to Marco Simone on Friday morning, just switching up the order in which the guys tee off.

USA have kept pairings the same, whether they played together on Friday in the Fourball or Foursomes session.

Ryder Cup Day 2 Best Bets

Hovland/Aberg to beat Scheffler/Koepka (+130)

This is the match of the morning for me. Viktor & Ludvig were a great combo on Friday, and the occasion didn’t seem to big for the rookie. Scheffler & Koepka played well in Fourball on Day 1, and you know Brooks will be out for blood, but our Euro duo seemed pretty unflappable. 

Homa/Harman to beat Lowry/Straka (+115)

I tipped Max and Brian to do big things for the U.S. team at Marco Simone, and they both have to feel disappointed with Day 1 (well, the whole team must!). However, for these rookies, I feel that they have their feet wet now and can be slightly better prepared. We know the talent and grit these two show on the course, so I’m taking them to win their match on Saturday morning. 

Justin Thomas – First USA Player Out on Sunday (+800)

JT & Spieth secured half a point on Friday, but it was Thomas who carried the team. As the Captain’s wildcard pick, Thomas had a lot to prove coming into the week with mounting pressure on his shoulders. He performed, and shows every single time how much this contest means to him. If he plays well on Saturday, I see him featuring in the opening Sunday singles match for Team USA.

Viktor Hovland – First European Player Out on Sunday (+350)

The fan favorite who is arguably the hottest player in the world right now, I’d love to see Hovland tee off early on Sunday and go up against Justin Thomas. With slightly higher odds than McIlory & Rahm, I like this bet.

Matt Fitzpatrick – Top English (+430)

After sitting out the Foursomes on Friday, Fitzy was running the greens in Fourball, sinking every putt he was faced with. It was incredible to watch. The Englishman is so calm under pressure (well, so it appears), and even with him sitting out Foursomes in the morning, I’ll take him to claim points in the afternoon, and in Sunday Singles.

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