The Ryder Cup: An Introduction

The Ryder Cup is one of the most entertaining sporting events to take place in golf. The Ryder Cup, which has taken place since 1927 was named after English businessman Samuel Ryder who donated his trophy for this international competition.
The Ryder Cup

The competition was originally between Great British and American golfers. it wasn’t until 1979 that the competition took the format it has today with teams from continental Europe taking on the Americans. In truth, the competition changed format due to the dominance of America in the competition. Since then it’s been much more competitive with Europe winning 11 times outright and retained the Ryder Cup once in a tied match, with America winning 8 times.

The format of the Cup pits two teams of twelve playing various matchplay competitions. On Friday and Saturday, there are four fourball matches and four foursome matches each day. The Sunday climaxes with twelve singles competitions featuring all the players from both teams facing off against each other. Each competition winner receives a point or half a point each if the game is tied. The winning team is the one with the most points at the end of play on Sunday. It is possible for the Ryder Cup to finish with a draw (14 points each), in this case, the Ryder Cup is retained by the team that won (Europe) last time.

Ryder Cup Format - FOUR BALL

In four-ball, each member of a two-man team plays his own ball, so four balls are in play on every hole. Each team counts the lowest of its two scores on each hole, and the team whose player has the lowest score wins the hole. If the scores are tied, the hole is halved.

Ryder Cup Format - FOURSOMES

In foursomes, each two-man team plays one ball per hole with the players taking turns until each hole is complete. Players alternate hitting tee shots, with one leading off on odd-numbered holes, and the other hitting first on even-numbered holes. The team with the low score on each hole wins that hole. If their scores are tied, the hole is halved.

Ryder Cup Format - SINGLES

In singles, each match features one player from each team. The player with the lower score on each hole wins that hole. If their scores are tied, the hole is halved.

Europes Ryder Cup Team (2021):

  • Paul CASEY
  • Matt FITZPATRICK
  • Tommy FLEETWOOD
  • Sergio GARCIA
  • Tyrell HATTON
  • Viktor HOVLAND
  • Shane LOWRY
  • Rory MCILROY
  • Ian POLUTER
  • Jon RAHM
  • Bernd WIESBERGER
  • Lee WESTWOOD
  • Padraig HARRINGTON (Captain)
  • Luke DONALD (Vice-Captain)
  • Robert KARLSSON (Vice-Captain)
  • Martin KAYMER (Vice-Captain)
  • Graeme MCDOWELL (Vice-Captain)
  • Henrik STENSON (Vice-Captain)

US Ryder Cup Tea, (2021):

  • Daniel BERGER
  • Patrick CANTLAY
  • Bryson DECHAMBEAU
  • Harris ENGLISH
  • Tony FINAU
  • Dustin JOHNSON
  • Brooks KOEPKA
  • Collin MORIKAWA
  • Xander SCHAUFFELE
  • Scottie SCHEFFLER
  • Jordan SPIETH
  • Justin THOMAS
  • Steve Stricker (Captain)
  • Fred Couples (Vice-Captain)
  • Jim Furyk (Vice-Captain)
  • Zach Johnson (Vice-Captain)
  • Davis Love III (Vice-Captain)
  • Phil Mickelson (Vice-Captain)

This year the US team are strong favourites to win the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.  They have home soil advantage and with current travel restrictions will have a very partisan crowd behind them.

Other than Jon Rahm who is ranked number 1 in the world the Europe team doesn’t have anyworld top 10 ranked players. The Amercian team has no less than 8 of the world’s top 10 in their ranks. What they do have though is a great team spirit and a winning edge in the competition. Europe have won 7 of the last 9 Ryder Cup events.

The Amercian team already have some cracks in the armour as two of the US team have been in a long running spat with each other.  I doubt we’ll get to see Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau pairing up together this weekend. Koepka has also admitted that he finds the Ryder Cup ‘tough, odd and hectic‘.

Whatever happens, this weekend should be a fantastic sporting spectacle. I’ll hopefully be cheering on Team Europe to another victory against the odds.

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