Olazabal had two difficult choices to make for captain’s pick although there was little doubt that Ian Poulter would be included as a wildcard, with the Englishman making a fourth appearance in the Ryder Cup and the 36-year-old generally shines when it comes to match play.
Poulter is an 8/1 chance to be the top European at Medinah Country Club this week, with Justin Rose set to partner his friend in the foursomes and fourball events. Rose should also play a prominent role during the three days and can also be backed at 8/1 (William Hill free bets).
However, the bookies make Rory McIlroy the man most likely to rack up the points for Team Europe and the young northern Irishman has apparently been ‘targeted’ by the Americans as the player to beat which will lower morale among the visitors.
Not that the 23-year-old will be easily scalped and he could reward favouritism at 11/2 with Blue Square, with his pairing with Graeme McDowell looking nailed on. G-Mac is the elder statesmen at 33 and seems to relish the combative nature of the Ryder Cup much in the same way as Poulter does.
Luke Donald has a formidable Ryder Cup record, having appeared on the winning side on three occasions and he’s another player set to be used at every stage of proceedings, with the 34-year-old well accustomed to the US Tour which could well play in his favour.
Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood are the other two players who are single figure odds to score the most points, with Garcia very much the passionate player and Westy the more calmer citizen of the team.
The other five players will be used more sparingly, with Nicolas Colsaerts the only rookie in this European team although there can be few worries about the talented Belgian, while Martin Kaymer, Paul Lawrie, Francesco Molinari and Peter Hanson make up the European team challenging for honours.