A close match, new Captain America and more way too early predictions for the 2025 Ryder Cup at Bethpage Black

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Is it 2025 yet?

For golf fans across the globe the countdown to the 45th Ryder Cup at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, New York, has already started despite the fact the 44th playing of the biennial bash between the United States and Europe is just one day in the rearview mirror.

For American fans, they want to wash away the embarrassing performance at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Italy last week. As for the European supporters, they want to ride the momentum of another win at home and avenge the historic loss at Whistling Straits in 2021.

A lot can happen over two years, especially in golf, but don’t let that get in the way of a fun thought exercise. Here are some way, way too early predictions for the 2025 Ryder Cup.

MORE: Changes afoot for USA | How players fared in ’23 | Future sites

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The 2025 Ryder Cup will be closely contested

No. 4 at Bethpage Black (Photo: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports)

Last week’s event in Italy marked the fifth straight Ryder Cup to be decided by five points or more. Over the last 10 Ryder Cups, the average margin of victory was six points. As pointed out by stats guru Justin Ray, from 1987 to 1999, the largest margin of victory was two points.

No matter how long the trend of blowouts continues, fans will still tune in. It’s the Ryder Cup, after all. But the event is in desperate need of a close match. Sure, there’s always a 15-30 minute window come Sunday singles where the losing team has a chance to flip some matches and make it a contest, but imagine a three-day stretch that was as competitive as the 2023 Solheim Cup two weeks ago in Spain, where both teams were tied 8-8 entering Sunday (which happened for a fifth time in the event’s 33-year history).

It almost sounds too good to be true, right? But after getting embarrassed this week, the U.S. will be ready to defend home soil at a course that will likely favor their length off the tee and par-5 scoring acumen. As for the Europeans, they noted all week how the 19-9 loss at Whistling Straits still stung, and they’ll be riding high and looking to avenge that defeat once again.

Have faith, golf fans. We’ll see a close one at Bethpage.

Home foursomes will matter once again

2023 Ryder Cup

The first tee during Day 2 foursomes at the 44th Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club. (Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

The alternate-shot format has been a pain for away teams.

Over the last five Ryder Cups held on European soil, the continental all-stars hold a distinct advantage over their American counterparts, with 29 ½ points to just 10 ½ from the U.S.

On the flip side, the U.S. holds the lead in foursomes at home events dating back to 2012, 16 ½-6 ½.

Ten straight Ryder Cups have been won by the side that earned more points in foursomes. In contrast, just five of the last 10 winners have held the overall advantage in fourball. It’s not the most daring prediction, but history has a way to repeat itself, and until the trend is broken, expect alternate shot to play a vital role at Bethpage.

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Brotherly love

Rasmus Nicolai Hojgaard

Rasmus Hojgaard poses with his twin brother Nicolai Hojgaard after winning the Made in HimmerLand at Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort on July 9, 2023 in Denmark. (Photo: Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

Nicolai Hojgaard made his Ryder Cup debut this week (0-2-1) and come 2025 his twin brother could be on the team with him. Rasmus finished eighth on the European points list and 21st on the World points list and projects to be in the mix for qualification or selection in two years.

Currently ranked No. 87 in the world, the 22-year-old has four wins on the DP World Tour (two more than his brother, ranked 82nd), recently finished fourth at the Cazoo Open de France and previously represented Team Europe at the 2018 Junior Ryder Cup. Imagine how fun it would be to see those two teaming up for a foursomes session.

And how about the Brothers Molinari? Francesco and Edoardo are past their playing time, but each played a key role this year for Team Europe, with Francesco as a vice captain for Luke Donald and Edoardo as the team’s analytics expert.

2023 Ryder Cup

Team Europe vice-captain Francesco Molinari (top left) and vice-captain Edoardo Molinari (top right) are introduced during the opening ceremony for the Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club. (Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

“Well, of course, Dodo’s extremely important. I think the game of golf has really become dominated with statistics, but you know, all my vice captains were immense,” said Donald of his leadership team. “Francesco, as well. Every single one of them meant so much to me and were a big help.”

“But obviously Dodo, I probably spent a little bit more time just because of the statistics,” continued Donald, “because of trying to figure out ways to tell all my guys why they were going to win; give them the confidence that when they stepped on that tee on Friday that they expected to win, and these are the reasons, and this is why you play and this is why we are going to be successful by the end of this week. Obviously Dodo is a big part of that.”

If Donald is back, so too will be the Brothers Molinari.

Scottie Scheffler will show up again for Team USA

2023 Ryder Cup

Scottie Scheffler is consoled by his wife after losing a match to Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg 9&7 during the Saturday morning foursomes matches of the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf Club on September 30, 2023 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Scottie Scheffler was 2–0–1 in his Ryder Cup debut at Whistling Straits, including a 4-and-3 victory over Jon Rahm in singles. In his last two caps for Team USA at the 2022 Presidents Cup and last week’s Ryder Cup, the world No. 1 is an abysmal 0-5-3, with a singles tie to Rahm and a loss to Sebastian Munoz. He went 0-3-2 with good friend Sam Burns across the last two competitions and laid the biggest egg alongside Brooks Koepka in Saturday’s foursomes session, losing 9-and-7 to set a new mark for the most lopsided defeat in the event’s nearly 100-year history.

The Burns pairing shouldn’t be in play going forward, that much is clear, and to be fair, his match against Rahm was thrilling out of the gate on Sunday. He’s simply too good to not produce more for the Americans.

Future rookies a la Ludvig Aberg

2023 Ryder Cup

Team Europ’s Ludvig Aberg celebrates after making his putt on the ninth green during Day 1 foursomes at the 44th Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club. (Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

How often did we hear on the broadcast that just months ago Ludvig Aberg was in college competing at Texas Tech? The 23-year-old went 2-2-0 in his Ryder Cup debut and delivered with some crucial putts across the three days of play for the Europeans.

The United States have been hesitant to call on ultra-young talent in the past, but there might be a candidate for 2025 in Gordon Sargent. The 20-year-old is currently a junior at Vanderbilt and ranked No. 2 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, having been recently supplanted as the No. 1. Sargent went a perfect 4-0 at the 2023 Walker Cup, was the low amateur at the 2023 U.S. Open and won the individual 2022 NCAA Championship.

2022 NCAA Div. I Men's Golf Championship

Gordon Sargent of Vanderbilt holds the trophy after winning the NCAA Div. I Men’s Golf Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club. (Photo: Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic)

He can play in the big moments, and the boisterous New York crowd will have his back the minute they see him bomb a 300-yard plus drive (yeah, he can do that with ease). This one is a bit more bold, but I’d love to see it.

New York fans will be BRUTAL to the Europeans

PGA Championship

Fans cheer for Dustin Johnson on the 14th hole during the final round of the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black. (Photo: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)

I’ve always appreciated how European fans can go from bipartisan applause and respect for their opponents to the most creative insults you’ll ever hear in a matter of moments. It’s truly an art form of fandom.

New York crowds, however, can be as vocal and hostile as they come, so the Europeans better not be expecting any pleasantries when they step foot on Long Island in 2025, especially after the beating they gave the Americans for most of last week. That said, the first tee atmosphere is going to be electric, believe that.

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Max Homa takes the shield as the new Captain America

2023 Ryder Cup

Max Homa of Team United States looks across the 12th hole during the Saturday afternoon fourball matches of the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf Club on September 30, 2023 in Rome, Italy. (Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Max Homa was by far the bright spot for the U.S. last week, though that isn’t saying much. The 32-year-old went 3-1-1 and was the lone player to surpass two points at Marco Simone. He delivered clutch putt after clutch putt – with an epic hole-out mixed in – and has proven over his last two appearances for Team USA that he’s made to handle the moment. Don’t forget Homa went 4-0-0 in his Presidents Cup debut last fall.

With Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both riding the struggle bus, all eyes are now on Homa to be one of the leaders of this U.S. side.

Who takes the reigns as captain?

Given the fallout with LIV Golf, Team Europe has seemingly moved on from past stalwarts like Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell and Henrik Stenson, who was slated to captain this year’s squad before he made the jump to the Saudi-backed circuit.

The Europeans would be off their rockers to not select Donald again for another go, especially given how the team rallied around him this year.

As for the U.S., it’d be shocking if Zach Johnson returned as captain. Maybe Steve Stricker gets another run at home to try to revitalize the 19-9 magic he stirred up at Whistling Straits. Tiger Woods has long been rumored to captain the U.S. side in 2025, especially after Phil Mickelson’s actions over the last year and a half has seemingly removed him from contention.

American captains have been easy to predict in recent years, but after another loss on the road, our Eamon Lynch wrote that changes are afoot for the U.S. squad, so don’t rule out a pivot to a new way of thinking, either.

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