Europe holds 79% chance to win Ryder Cup following another strong session

September 28, 2018
Rory McIlroy on Friday during the 2018 Ryder Cup.


SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France — It was another Euro-led session here at the Ryder Cup. The European team added another three match victories to its total, bringing the current standing to 8-4 in the European favor.

Beginning the day with a 59% chance of winning the Cup (they need 14.5 points to do so), they now hold a 79% chance of taking it, according to Mark Broadie. Only Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas were able to scrounge up a point for the Americans Saturday morning after they beat Ian Poulter and Jon Rahm.

Broadie’s model runs more than 200,000 simulations of matches based on strokes gained during the same events. Based on the pairings captain Jim Furyk chose for the afternoon, that European number is soaring.

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France — The 2018 Ryder Cup is already a memorable one with the Americans extending a lead to begin and the European team fighting back and sweeping the afternoon session. With a small sample size of matches, the win probability can switch rapidly.

At the end of play Friday, with eight matches complete and with 20 matches remaining, the European team now has a 57% chance of winning the Ryder Cup, according to a model from Mark Broadie. That leaves a 43% chance the Americans win the Cup. In other words, it’s tight, but you already knew that.

Broadie’s model — which factors in strokes gained performances among Ryder Cup players in the same event — measures 200,000 simulations. The Euros 4-0 afternoon sweep changed the outlook greatly, but the Americans still have the benefit of having to reach a lesser point total. There is a 9% chance that the teams both finish with 14 points, in which case the red, white and blue would retain the Cup.

Broadie will update his model projections after Saturday’s morning session, at which point the outlook will be even clearer.