Michael Jordan Betting on Europe to Win Ryder Cup in Rome

A few weeks ago, Luke Donald and Michael Jordan had dinner together. That’s hardly shоcking, as they’ve been pals for years, but the comments made regarding the Ryder Cup were.

Michael Jordan, an American NBA legend who hasn't missed a Ryder Cup since 1997, is predicting a European victory in Rome

He predicted that Europe would come out on top,” Donald stated. That’s what he told me, but I wouldn’t necessarily share that with the Yanks. You can read into that what you will.

Michael Jordan, an American NBA legend who hasn't missed a Ryder Cup since 1997, is predicting a European victory in Rome

Take it with a grain of salt, perhaps, but no one has been a more vocal supporter of the American team at the Ryder Cup.

This is the first Cup that Jordan has missed since 1997, and Donald has now revealed that he has been notified by Jordan that he would not be present at Marco Simone in Rome this week. It may even be seen as an early hole in favor of the home team in a venue so prone to symbolism that the European class of 2014 equipped their team room with tanks of gold and blue fish.

Michael Jordan, an American NBA legend who hasn't missed a Ryder Cup since 1997, is predicting a European victory in Rome

It may be a last ditch effort, but the connections between Jordan and Donald are intriguing. They reside on the same street in a gated neighborhood in Jupiter, Florida, and though they seem like an odd couple, they have known each other for over ten years and are quite close. There are fundamental similarities at play here; Donald didn’t become tennis’ No. 1 player while heavier hitters were in vogue by chance.

“As I’ve mentioned before, I had a respectable career in and of myself. The memories I made with my teammates and at the Ryder Cups (he won all four he played in) will last a lifetime. Having something in common culturally helps you recall and appreciate those times together more. For my professional life, this is the pinnacle.

Besides having to cope with the political soap opera that is his sport, the loss in Whistling Straits in 2021 was inflicted with a record margin, making his task since taking the role a formidable one. The United States also seems stronger on paper this time around, but whether or not home field and a great leader can make up the difference remаins an open question.

Michael Jordan, an American NBA legend who hasn't missed a Ryder Cup since 1997, is predicting a European victory in Rome

In the latter sense, there is a school of thought that holds that this is the most inflated role in sports, but Donald has taken it very seriously. And while his American counterpart, Zach Johnson, had the ability to call on LIV golfers, he revealed in May that he wasn’t even watching them on television, his frequent crisscrossing of the Atlantic to monitor his players stood in stark contrast.

Donald has been more conscientious, seemingly trying to model his play after that of Bernhard Langer, the captain who handed him his first professional start in 2004 and who is widely regarded as one of the best in the game. “I learned a lot from him,” Donald stated. Over the course of the previous 14 months, I have frequently awakened in the middle of the night with a head full of ideas, jotting down notes as I remember them. He really outdid himself.

“I think we all felt very comfortable,” she said. “And returning to my captaincy, that clarity, that consistency is really important, and knowing that you don’t know everything and can learn off other people.”

Naturally, the Cup is well-known for captains who seem to leave no stone unturned, only to be pelted with rocks in defeat. Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, and Viktor Hovland highlight Donald’s squad, and Ludvig Aberg adds intrigue, but the United States is the clear favorite because to their deeper lineup. Donald is content for Johnson to shoulder the load as they look for their first road victory since 1993.

“We have some superstars,” he said. Anything is possible with these people since we have a fantastic core of excellent players and some young guys. However, we just suffered our worst defeat ever, and the Americans will likely be heavy betting favorites.

Never in our lives will we discount the American people. They’re really powerful, and they’ve forged some excellent alliances. The workload is heavy, but I’m confident in our group.

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