There are plenty of stats floating around the Ryder Cup. Lots of evidence capable of swing your opinion one way or another. But if there’s one stat worth paying attention to above all others, this is it: In the 19 Ryder Cups since 1979, 13 times the winner of the first match on Friday has gone on to win the Ryder Cup — a whopping 72 percent
Credit to Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee, who first brought up the stat on Live From the Ryder Cup, calling it the biggest “predictor” of Ryder Cup success.
And how did the first match pan out?
For a long time it looked like a lock for Europe. Justin Rose and Jon Rahm raced to a 2 up lead through just eight holes. But America’s Tony Finau crawled back. A few missed putts along with one very lucky break, and the U.S. scored an eventual victory.
So if history is any guide, that could be tournament-deciding point for the Americans. Let’s see if the statistic holds true for another year.