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What to Watch at the Ryder Cup

2016 Ryder Cup - What to Watch

The Ryder Cup, the biennial men’s golf competition between teams from Europe and United States, is named after English businessman Samuel Ryder.  Founded in 1927, the event takes place in alternating venues between the United States and Europe.  This year the event will be held at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, 2016.

Both teams consist of 12 players each, which have qualified or have been selected by their captains – Davis Love III (Team USA Captain) and Darren Clarke (Team Europe Captain).  For years the competition included players from the United States, Great Britain and Ireland, but a change in the team format in 1979 included continental European golfers.  The American team dominated the event for many years, but since 1979 the European team won ten times while the US Team won seven times.  The European team currently holds the Ryder Cup – after winning the past three consecutive events in 2010, 2012 and 2014.    

The matches take place over three days and include a series of different formats as follows:

Day 1 (Friday, Sept. 30):

•  There are 4 foursome (alternate shot) matches in the morning and 4 four-ball (better ball) matches in the afternoon.   Each match is worth one point and if the match ends in a tie, each team earns half a point. 

•  A total of eight players from each team participate in the morning and afternoon sessions. (Four players from each team “sit out” for the session – with the line-up determined by the Captain and Assistant Captains.)

Day 2 (Saturday, Oct. 1):

•  4 foursome (alternate shot) matches in the morning and 4 four-ball (better ball) matches in the afternoon.  Each match is worth one point and if the match ends in a tie, each team earns half a point.

•  A total of eight players from each team participate in the morning and afternoon sessions. (Four players from each team “sit out” for the session – with the line-up determined by the Captain and Assistant Captains.)

Day 3 (Sunday, Oct. 2):

•  The final day consists of 12 singles matches, where all 12 players from each team participate.  Each match is worth one point and if the match ends in a tie, each team earns half a point.

There are a total of 28 points available over three days in the Ryder Cup.  A team total of 14½ points is required for the Team USA to win the Ryder Cup and 14 points are required for the European Team to retain the Ryder Cup. 

The Captains pair players together based on complimentary strength of game (for example: one player consistent from the tee and one player with a sharp short game) or pair players together who have a history of playing well together from past match play events.  Some Captains will pair a rookie team member with a seasoned veteran to help calm the nerves. The line-ups are announced right before the matches so that creates additional suspense and discussion.

Golf Channel and NBC are providing nearly 27 hours of live event coverage from Minnesota as follows: (Note:  times listed are Eastern Daylight Time)

Friday, Sept. 30 – Day One           8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. EDT (GOLF)
Saturday, Oct. 1 – Day Two          8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. EDT (GOLF)
                                                      9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. EDT (NBC)

Sunday, Oct. 2 – Final Round     12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. EDT (NBC)