Entering the final day, the Americans have a 16% chance of winning the Ryder Cup

September 29, 2018

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France — It’s not over yet, but it almost is.

The 2018 Ryder Cup has 12 singles matches remaining, set to begin at 6:05 a.m. ET Sunday. That’s roughly 43% of the matches that make up the event. Plenty can happen. We’ve seen that much at past Ryder Cups, Medinah and Brookline serving as examples. With a 10-6 lead, the European team is a stout favorite, currently owning a 84% chance of winning the Ryder Cup, according to Mark Broadie.

That leaves the Americans with a 16% chance to win, buoyed mostly by the fact that they need just 14 points to retain the Cup, and according to Broadie, there exists a 7% chance of a 14-14 tie. Broadie’s model runs 200,000 simulations of matches, and with 12 individual matches, many outcomes exists.

The Saturday afternoon session was a pivotal one for the U.S. team’s chances. Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson won their match, as did Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson were 1 down through 16. If they would have won the final two holes, they would have increased the American’s chance of winning by 20%. Instead, Henrik Stenson holed a lengthy birdie putt and Koepka missed, ending the match on the 17th green and serving as a perfect example of how individual matches can flip-flop a team’s fate in the greater event.