This week sees the start of a sporting event which never ceases to excite sports gambling fans on both sides of the pond. Even sports gambling enthusiasts who do not normally follow the game of golf can be lured into the excitement of the Ryder Cup, and gambling on golf becomes a major interest across the whole sporting spectrum. This is the 39th Ryder Cup match and is being played this year at the Medinah Country Club near Chicago, Illinois. The European team, who are the holders of the cup, fly out today from Heathrow and the match will tee off on Friday with the first foursomes. It is generally considered amongst golf gambling experts that the home team have a significant advantage in this match, and the USA are currently favourites at 4/6 with most bookmakers with Europe at 6/4. Ryder Cup matches have a history of close finishes and many golf gambling fans may be interested in taking a punt on a draw at odds of 10/1. What makes the Ryder Cup so fascinating for sports gambling enthusiasts is the format of the match and the concept of golf as a team game. Golf professionals spend all year vigorously competing with each other as individuals, and almost all the tournaments they play are strokeplay where every shot counts and there can be a tendency sometimes to be more defensive. The Ryder Cup however is played in the matchplay format in which it is the number of holes won that counts and not the number of strokes. Add to that the team element of the foursomes and fourballs of the first two days, which contribute 16 of the 28 points available, and this form of golf requires a whole new strategy. It has taken a few years for some American golfers to come to terms with this concept, particularly Tiger Woods, but recent reports suggest that they are now fully committed to the cause and this year’s match will undoubtedly be very tight. If you’re a fan of gambling on golf, this is the big weekend of the year.