Only eight players from each side play in this format (leaving four players out from each side on each match) and 12 singles on the last day.
There will be 28 points up for grabs with the winning team from the last match retaining the Ryder Cup with 14 points but to win outright one team needs 14½ points.
Note: On the first two days, eight players are selected from both teams of the 12 players, playing together as a team of two in these four matches. Therefore, the captain from each team must carefully select his combination of his two man team, creating many permutations over the first two days.
The Ryder Cup is a biennial team event between an America team playing against a Europe team. Last played in America, the Americans won. This time it will be played in France at the Club De National, Guyancourt, Lie-de-France par 71 course.
This course has been purpose built for the French Golf Federation as has been their headquarters for 30 years. When building the course they created a natural amphitheatre so that golf fans can watch the golf from all holes on the course.
If some of the matches go to the last hole, the second shot on that hole to the green is over water so this should provide for some exciting finishes.
The History of the Ryder Cup
Although it is often stated that the Ryder Cup began in 1921, the Ryder Cup officially started in 1927.
Two unofficial matches were played between golf professional from Great Britain and the United States, with the first occurring at Gleneagles Golf Club, Scotland in 1921, and the second hosted by Wentworth Golf Club, England.
An English seed merchant called Samuel Ryder watched the second match and having recently taken up golf, was delighted by the event. Ryder was so moved by the competition that he donated a small gold cup, with a small golfing figure at the top as a lasting memorial to a popular golfer, and Ryder’s personal tutor, Abe Mitchell. This cup is still used as the Ryder Cup trophy.
The biggest change to the Ryder Cup format was in 1979 when European golfers were allowed to play in the event in the hope it would make it a more competitive match with the American players having won almost all every Ryder Cup matches to that point.
The allure of the Ryder Cup, apart from America playing against Europe in a team event, has always been that the players from both sides do not receive any prize money for this prestigious event. So they are playing for the pride of their team and of course the bragging rights of winning the Ryder Cup. (My understanding now is that the American golfers receive around US$200,000 (B6.49 million) for playing in the Ryder cup, fortunately this money goes to college development education program and charities that the players chose.)
By the way, don’t feel too sorry for the players not receiving direct money, the Ryder Cup is an all-expenses paid affair with the players receiving Ryder Cup mementos that only go to the players playing in the Ryder Cup of 2018.
Also, being a Ryder Cup player creates more kudos for that player in the golfing world, their value goes up which is reflected in better endorsements and contracts for that player having played in the Ryder Cup.
Is the Ryder cup competitive?
Snippets from previous Ryder cups
1969: Nicklaus vs Jacklin
Nicklaus of America gave Jacklin of Europe a putt on the last to tie the Ryder Cup in gentlemanly fashion; the American team though thought that it should have been holed.
1989: Azinger and Ballesteros
Ballesteros had a scuff mark on his golf ball and his opponent Azinger said, “It’s still payable.” The referee decided it was playable as well and that certainly got Ballesteros’ blood up. After the game Ballestros said that there are 11 good players on the American side and Azinger.
1991: ‘The War by the Shore’
One of the American players wore a baseball cap from desert storm! In America this did seem to created more interest in the Ryder Cup.
1999: ‘Battle of Brookline’
The Americans on the 17th green celebrated after holing their putt, running all over Europe’s line on the greens, ‘just not etiquette’.
Team America, at the time, where down 10–6 points at the start of the final day. The Americans defeated Europe 8½–3½ in the singles matches to seal the first American victory since 1993.
2012: ‘Miracle at Medinah’
Europe seemed to have no chance of winning but won the singles 8½ v 3½ to win the Ryder cup that year.
Will there be a new title to go with the Ryder cup 2018?
Looking at both Teams on paper, as always the Americans seem to have a little more fire power than Europe. However, this is a team game for the Ryder Cup and players from both teams will need to be bring their ‘A’ games into this very special team environment.
Europe in the past seem to jell as a team better than the American players, even though both teams have all the latest technologies at their fingertips. This time the America team are holders of the Ryder Cup and seem to be more prepared under the Captaincy of Jim Furyk, and with Tiger Woods comeback complete, they are in control of their own destiny.
However, will the gritty European side have what it takes to bring the Ryder cup home? We will see!
USA: Captain: Jim Furyk; Brooks Koepka (US Open, PGA championship holder); Dustin Johnson; Justin Thomas; Patrick Reed (Masters holder); Bubba Watson; Jordan Spieth; Rickie Fowler; Webb Simpson; Bryson DeChambeau; Phil Mickelson; Tiger Woods; Tony Finau.
Europe: Captain: Thomas Bjorn; Francesco Molinari (British Open ; holder); Justin Rose; Jon Rahm; Rory McIlroy; Tommy Fleetwood; Tyrrell Hatton; Alex Norén; Thorbjørn Olesen; Ian Poulter; Paul Casey; Sergio García; Henrik Stenson.
– Martin Platts
Martin Platts (British) P.G.A., Director of the Golf Guru International Golf Academy, has been involved in competitive golf for 40 years, 30 as a professional. He has coached players of all levels from beginners to Ryder Cup tour professionals. Visit TheGolfGuru.com