Ryder Cup Captures Fans Interest





Ryder Cup Captures Fans Interest

Valhalla Golf Club, Louisville, Kentucky, one America’s top courses, is the site of the 37th Ryder Cup competition. One of golf grandest events, the Ryder Cup pits a 12-member team of professional golfers from America against a 12-member team of professional golfers from Europe. This year’s Ryder Cup teams include some of the biggest names in golf, including Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, and Padraig Harrington as well as Anthony Kim, Justin Rose, and Jim Furyk.

The Ryder Cup is unique. No other professional golf tournament of such note employs a team concept. Conceived in the 1920s, the Ryder Cup is named for Samuel Ryder, a wealthy Englishman from St. Albans in Hertfordshire. He provided the trophy and helped establish regular matches. Since then, the Ryder Cup has become one of the world’s greatest sporting events. Held every two years, it’s clearly one of the most anticipated golf events of the year—and with good reason. You never know what will happen at the competition.

Ryder Cup Format

The key to the Ryder Cup’s popularity is match play. It adds pressure, nerves, and gamesmanship to the tournament—attributes missing in other tournaments. You can also add a dash of patriotism to the tournament, which heats up the competition even more. These things plus the pairings make the Ryder Cup a must see event for fans.

The order of play is Foursomes in the morning and Fourball in the afternoon for the first two days. The final day’s play is Singles.

Below is a description of the match play formats used in the Ryder Cup:

* Foursomes play involves four groups of two-man teams. Two golfers play against two other golfers with each team playing one ball. The players play alternate shots until the hole is played out. Team members alternate playing the tee shot. One player tees off on odd-numbered holes, the other on even-numbered holes. The team with the lowest score on the hole wins the hole. Should the two teams tie for the best score, the hole is halved.

* Fourball play matches four groups of two two-man teams. Each member of the two-man teams plays his own ball. Thus, four balls are in play per hole, with each of the four players competing. The team with the lowest score on the hole wins the hole. Should the two teams tie for the best score, the hole is halved.

* Singles play pits one player from the American Team against one player from the European Team. A player wins the match when he is up more holes than there are holes remaining. The player with the lowest score on the hole wins the hole. Should the two players tie for the best score, the hole is halved.

The Order of Play

The Ryder Cup’s order of play is the result of a gradual evolution. Until 1959, the competition held four Foursome matches on one day and eight Singles matches on the other day, each of 36 holes. Official changed this in 1961. They held four 18-hole Foursome matches on the morning of the first day, four 18-hole Foursome matches on the afternoon, eight 18-hole Singles on the morning of the second day, and eight more Singles on the afternoon. One point was at stake for each match win, boosting the total number of points available to 24.

In 1963, officials added Fourball matches for the first time, boosting the total number of points available to 32. They changed the format again in 1977. They included five Foursomes on opening day, five Fourball on the second day, and 10 Singles on he final day, reducing the total points to 20. Officials revised the competition once again in 1979 to include four Fourball and four Foursome matches the first two days and 12 singles matches on the third day, making the total points available 28. That’s the way it stands for this year’s tournament.

The Pairings

 The pairings also make this tournament a must see event. Each team captain submits an order of play independently to the appointed official. Tournament officials then match up the order of plays, resulting in the “pairings.” Since the pairings are dependent on the order of play, golf fans never know who will be playing against each other until they are announced. Neither do the team captains. One year, for example, Tiger Woods, the number one ranked player in the world, teamed with Phil Mickelson, the second ranked player in the world, for the American side. That’s a dream team of golf if there ever was one.

For golf fans, the Ryder Cup is generally a refreshing change from the stroke play events held almost every weekend end. This year’s competition promises to be more exciting than past tournaments. With Tiger Woods out, it will be a real challenge for the American team to defeat the European team, which has won the last three tournaments and five out of the last six.

Jack Moorehouse is the author of the best-selling book How To Break 80 And Shoot Like The Pros. He is NOT a golf pro, rather a working man that has helped thousands of golfers from all seven continents lower their handicap immediately. Free weekly newsletter available with the latest golf tips, lessons and instructions.

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