Ryder Cup beginner’s guide: Teams, timings, schedule, structure, history, and other crucial questions

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Ryder Cup
Source: Skysports

What is the Ryder Cup?

The Ryder Cup is a three-day biennial match involving teams of 12 players from the United States and Europe. The tournament, which was founded by Samuel Ryder in 1927 and is now in its 43rd year, was first staged in 1927.

The tournament, which began as a match between the United States and a team from the United Kingdom and Ireland, was enlarged in 1979 to include players from continental Europe. The event was initially scheduled for September 2020, but because to the Covid-19 outbreak, it was put back a year.

Who is involved in this?

The non-playing captains for each side are Padraig Harrington for Europe and Steve Stricker for the United States this year. Both teams have five vice-captains to help them manage their teams.

Europe has nine players that qualified through a protracted qualification procedure that was delayed owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, with three captain’s choices rounding out the roster.

The host team enjoyed a little longer qualification process, with Stricker naming six wildcards to his six automatic qualifiers the following week, bringing the BMW Championship to a close.

Team USA

Captain: Steve Stricker

Vice-captains: Fred Couples, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, Davis Love III, Phil Mickelson

Line-up: Daniel Berger, Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, Harris English, Tony Finau, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele, Scottie Scheffler, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas

Team Europe

Captain: Padraig Harrington

Vice-captains: Luke Donald, Robert Karlsson, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson

Line-up: Paul Casey, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia, Tyrrell Hatton, Viktor Hovland, Shane Lowry, Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter, Jon Rahm, Lee Westwood, Bernd Wiesberger

What is the structure?

Over the course of three days, 28 matches are played in three different match formats: foursomes, fourballs, and singles.

Two European golfers compete against a pair from the United States in foursomes, with team members swapping shots and each team utilising one ball. On Friday morning, four matches are played, and on Saturday morning, four matches are played.

Two golfers from each side compete in fourballs, although each player uses his own ball. Each pair’s lowest score will be used to determine their side’s score. For the first two days, there are four fourball matches per afternoon.

How does the scoring system work?

Match play is a hole-by-hole scoring system in which a player or team can win a hole if their score is lower than their opponent’s. If the scores on a hole are tied, the match’s overall score remains the same.

The score is 2up or whatever the margin is if a person or team leads the match by more than one. If a player or team has acquired an unassailable advantage, a match can be completed before the 18th hole, with each match counting one point.

When does the game begin?

Over the first two days, play will begin at 1.05pm BST, with foursomes matches starting at 1.21pm, 1.37pm, and 1.53pm at 16-minute intervals.

On Friday and Saturday, the afternoon fourball matches will begin at 6.10 p.m., with the remaining three matches starting at 6.26 p.m., 6.42 p.m., and 6.58 p.m., with play set to end around 12.30 a.m.

The Sunday singles bouts begin at 5.05 p.m. BST, with games starting at 11 p.m. BST and the final match starting at 7.05 p.m. BST. The play should be finished at 11 p.m., with the closing ceremony following shortly after.

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