the Ryder Cup is a biennial men’s event golf Tournament in which two teams with 12 players from Europe and the USA took part.

Perhaps one of the oldest and greatest rivalries in golf, it was founded by Englishman Samuel Ryder in 1927 after teams of American and British golfers traveled across the Atlantic to compete in a match play tournament.

Originally the tournament was played between the US and the UK, but the UK team expanded in 1979 to allow players from continental Europe to participate.

In fact, the very first edition of the match play tournament took place in 1926, when Walter Hagen’s Team USA defeated Ted Ray’s Team Great Britain 9½ to 2½.

The story so far

The 43rd edition of the Ryder Cup begins this Friday at Whistling Straits Golf Club in Wisconsin, USA.

The event was originally scheduled for 2020 but has been postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Team USA currently leads Team Europe with 26 wins out of 14, but Team USA’s most recent form in the tournament leaves a lot to be desired as Team Europe has won seven of the last nine tournaments since 2002.

Team Europe is the current holder of the Ryder Cup after defeating the USA in 2018 at Le Golf National in Paris with 17½ points to 10½ points.

Team Europe traveled to America this morning hoping to emulate the same success as the Team Europe female golf team who defeated Team USA in the Solheim Cup last month.

So who is playing?

Every two years a non-playing captain selects a team of professional golfers to take part in the tournament. For Team Europe, three-time major champion Padraig Harrington will be the team captain. He will face Team USA captain Steve Stricker.

Each captain is also accompanied by five vice captains who will help them choose their crews for the week.

Team Europe’s 12-man squad was announced two weeks ago after the BMW PGA championships at Wentworth Golf Club in Surrey. The top nine players qualify as part of a scoring system by playing and winning European Tour and PGA Tour events while the final three picks are taken as captain wild cards.

Meanwhile, Team USA’s selection process works a little differently, with Captain Stricker picking six wildcards that will play alongside six other automatic qualifiers for the week.

Team USA

Captain: Steve Stricker

Vice Captains: Fred Couples, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, Davis Love III.

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

Team Europe

Captain: Padraig Harrington

Deputy Captains: Luke Donald, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Robert Karlson, Henrik Stenson.

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

How it works

The Ryder Cup officially begins this Friday at 1:05 p.m. (BST) with 28 games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


Unlike standard PGA or European Tour events, the tournament works in match play format, in which players compete in teams and as individual players against each other in order to win points for their team.

Friday and Saturday events take place in four-ball and four-ball format, while on Sunday 24 players compete against each other in 12 individual games.

Pairings for the foursome on Friday will be announced later this week, while pairings for Saturday and games for the games on Sunday will be announced the night before.

four: Two golfers from Team Europe compete against a pair from Team USA. Each couple can only use one golf ball and take turns hitting the ball. Each player has to hit a certain number of strokes from the tee box, with their partner then taking the next stroke, making this a very tactical event to start the tournament.

Four balls: Golfers team up again in twos at this event, but instead of sharing a ball, this time they each play their own ball. The player with the lowest score from each pair counts his score for his side.



On the Friday and Saturday mornings of the event, there will be four four-a-side matches, while four four-a-side matches will be played in the afternoon on the first two days.

On the last day, both teams compete in a single match play event, in which golfers from both sides individually compete against an opponent from the opposing side.


Players collect points by winning holes for their team. Played on a hole-by-hole basis, players try to get a lower score than their opponent or team on each hole.

If both players or teams score the same on a hole, each team receives half a point for their side. If a player wins a hole, he goes 1-up against his opponent.

The player with the most points at the end of 18 holes is ultimately the winner of the game, and in the event of a tie, both teams will again receive half a point.


If one team gets 14.5 points ahead of the other, it usually wins the tournament, but if the scores are equal at every 14 points, Team Europe will keep the Ryder Cup.

Of course

Whistling Straits is one of the longest courses on the PGA Tour at 7,390 yards, just 500 yards behind this year’s giant US Open of course the Torrey Pines National.

This is a tricky links course designed in tribute to many of the golf courses players find on the Irish coast and has previously hosted three major events in its life including the 2004, 2010 and 2015 PGA championships.

Martin Kaymer, Vice-Captain of Team Europe, has notably won the 2010 PGA Championship in Whistling Straits and will provide Padraig Harrington with valuable course knowledge this week.

Notably, the course has an abundance of bunkers lining its fairways, so it will be the best scramblers of the week to get low scores.


When does it start?

The game begins on Friday and Saturday at 1:05 p.m. (BST), with four-a-side games every 16 minutes.

The four-ball games on Friday afternoon will then take place at 6.10 p.m., with games following every 16 minutes.

The individual games on Sunday start at 5:05 p.m., after which the games take place every 11 minutes.

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