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Ryder Cup 2021 predictions: Our experts’ verdicts – from which team will win to most likely flashpoint

Ahead of the 2021 Ryder Cup, four of our Telegraph Sport writers have shared their predictions on this year’s event – including the singles contest they would most like to see, which team will win (and by how much), as well as their picks for leading points scorer and top rookie.

James Corrigan

Who will win – and by what margin? 

USA 15-13. Expect the visitors to put up a brave fight and if the wind obliges they will have a serious chance. But this American team seems so full of talent and exuberance that it would be a shock if they crumble in the manner of Stars and Stripes past. No Tiger and Mickelson playing for the first time in 28 years. That is a positive.

Leading points scorer

Jordan Spieth. Stricker might not play any of his team in five sessions, but if he does expect him to ride the Spieth-Thomas pairing to the line. Could prove to be one of the great pairings. And then it would the flick of the coin about which of “Jordmas” has the energy for their singles. Spieth seems pumped.

Leading rookie

Viktor Hovland. At 23 the Norwegian is the youngest player in the match – and he is the smiliest as well. Would be no surprise to see Harrington play Hovland in all five matches. Has the class to be a Europe legend.

Most likely flashpoint 

The US fans will start drinking at 7.30am and then proceed to heckle and abuse for the next 10 hours. Europe insist they will not react, but at some stage someone will surely snap back at the morons.

Singles match I would like to see… 

As we are not allowed Bryson vs Brooks, or Bryson vs Cantlay, it would be wonderful to see Bryson vs Rahm, the game’s most controversial player against its best player.

Oliver Brown

Who will win – and by what margin?

US, by four points. The Americans’ statistical superiority has been deceptive before, but there is no downplaying the advantage of a team with eight of the world’s top 10 in their corner. If Steve Stricker, a shrewd diplomat as captain, can somehow keep Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau on speaking terms, his huge-hitting superstars should ensure a decisive victory on a course that rewards distance.

Leading rookie

Xander Schauffele. As the Olympic champion, with eight top-10 finishes in majors, the 27-year-old hardly has the record of a callow debutant. His laconic temperament equips him to flourish even under oppressive expectation.

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