Americans favored against Europe as they look to reclaim Ryder Cup

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The tried-and-true narrative with the Ryder Cup is that Europe somehow manages to outfox the United States, which once again is the betting favorite for the biennial competition.

Europe has won eight of the past 10 competitions, including six of the last seven. With the Ryder Cup slated to begin Friday at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chasta, Minnesota, captain Davis Love III’s American squad is a -185 favorite at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Captain Darren Clarke’s Europe team is a +145 underdog to win.

Along with home soil, the Americans have the 7-5 edge in world Top 20 players and a 10-7 edge in players with experience in the tournament. The Americans have not won more than 7½ of a possible 12 points from the Sunday singles matches since their memorable comeback in 1999, but having the likes of Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed could make a difference on the final day.

Johnson headlines the top U.S. player board at +350. Spieth is listed at +450 and Reed is at +600. Jimmy Walker, the PGA championship winner and one of the better American putters, is listed at +1600.

Rory McIlroy, fresh off capturing the FedEx Cup, is a +450 favorite to be Europe’s top player. It is worth nothing that McIlroy is playing for a fellow Northern Ireland native, Clarke. Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, who respectively won the Olympic gold medal and British Open this summer, are listed at +550.

Rickie Fowler, who has never won a Ryder Cup match, is a +225 favorite to be the top U.S. wild card (also known as a captain’s pick). Matt Kuchar has a +240 payout, with J.B. Holmes and Ryan Moore each listed at +300.

Martin Kaymer, at +150, and Lee Westwood, at +160, are neck-on-neck in the top Europe wild card prop. Ryder Cup rookie Thomas Pieters (+225) is a big hitter whose burgeoning rapport with Stenson could carry over to the course.

For top U.S. rookie, Brooks Koepka is -120 and Moore is -110 on those golf betting lines.

Danny Willett is +300 to be the top performer among the half-dozen rookies on the Europe team. Pieters, Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Matthew Fitzpatrick are each listed at +400.

The competition begins with fourballs and foursomes matches on Friday and Saturday, before the all-important 12 singles matches on Sunday. Each of the 28 matches is worth one point (with a half-point for a tie), and the first team to accumulate 14½ points wins.

Europe is 10-7-1 since the current Ryder Cup format was introduced in 1979.

Dustin Johnson betting favorite entering PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass

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Considering that he came close to winning his fourth tournament in a row last weekend, Dustin Johnson is an obvious top prop on THE PLAYERS championship futures board.

Johnson, the world’s No. 1-ranked player, is listed at +700 on the odds to win THE PLAYERS Championship at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. With 48 of the top 50 golfers in the PGA due to compete this weekend at famously tough TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, the top of the board also includes Rory McIlroy (+1000), Jordan Spieth (+1400), and newly minted Masters champion Sergio Garcia (+1800).

Johnson has never finished higher than a tie for 28th place at TPC Sawgrass and his price might not offer a high enough payoff for bettors to take a leap of faith on him figuring out the layout. Conversely, second favorite McIlroy’s best result on the course is a tie for sixth in 2014 and he’s been 12th or higher each of the last four years. With a 70.06 scoring average at Sawgrass, he’s got a good chance of being in contention going into Sunday.

Spieth has missed the cut at this event two years running, but he was fourth in 2014 and has finished in the top 10 in six of his 11 tournaments so far. Spieth has also had his short game in sync recently. Garcia has been in the top 15 in four of his events this year.

Two past winners, Rickie Fowler (+2000) and Martin Kaymer (+5500), have quietly been among the steadiest players on the Tour this season. The sting of a missed cut in 2016 after arriving as the defending champion might factor into Fowler, who has had top-16 finishes in six consecutive events, being extra-focused this week. For his part, Kaymer has also yet to miss a cut this season.

Jon Rahm (+2000) is playing the event for the first time; only two first-timers have ever won. Hideki Matsuyama (+2000) has had an up-and-down season so far, but he was seventh at the 2016 PLAYERS.

Defending champion Jason Day (+2200) has fairly long odds. Only six golfers have ever won the event more than once, with the great Jack Nicklaus standing alone as the lone three-time winner. Englishman Lee Westwood (+10000) is a true darkhose, but he was eighth and sixth in his last two starts at TPC Sawgrass and is having a strong season on all continents.

Masters-style green jacket bought for $5 sells for $139K

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DENVILLE, N.J. (AP) An authentic green jacket from Augusta National Golf Club that was once bought for $5 at a thrift store has sold at auction for more than $139,000.

Green Jacket Auctions says the distinctive sport coat worn by members of the famed Georgia club and presented each year to the winner of the Master’s tournament was sold Saturday, a day before the final round of this year’s Masters.

The auction house says in its listing that the jacket was discovered in 1994 in a Toronto consignment shop. The tag shows it to be from the 1950s, but the original owner’s name has been cut out. The club has confirmed its authenticity.

The auction house also sold the putter Arnold Palmer used to win the 1964 Masters for more than $97,000 Sunday.