It’s time for the 2018 Ryder Cup! The best players representing Europe and the United States are teamed up for the bi-annual tournament that dates to the early 1920’s. It was common for selected groups of players from both Britain and the USA to take part in each country’s Open tournaments. But, the event as we know it today was officially kicked off in 1927 when rules governing the tournament were drawn up.
The current reigning winner is the United States team who won the match-play tournament in 2016 at the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota. This year the Ryder Cup, named after English businessman and avid golfer Samuel Ryder – who donated the trophy, will take place in France at Le Golf National, Guyancourt.
Ryder Cup Format
Things are a bit different when it comes to a regular PGA tournament and the Ryder Cup. There are three days of play instead of four and there is no cut-line. The format consists of match play competitions between players selected from the two teams. There are eight foursome matches and eight fourball matches as well as 12 singles matches. The winner of each match scores a point for their team. In the case of a tie, only a ½ point to each team after 18 holes.
Here’s what’s neat – not all of the players have to play. The captains pick where they want their team members to compete. There are 28 matches over the three days with 4 fourball and 4 Foursome matches on Friday and Saturday. Sunday the format switches to a traditional round of golf with singles matches.
Foursome match: Two golfers from each team. The golfers on the same team take alternate shots with the same ball. The team that completes the hole with the least number of strokes wins the hole.
Fourball match: Two teams of two golfers representing Europe and the USA, but in this case, all four golfers play their own ball during the entire round. A hole is won by the team with the individual golfer has the lowest score.
Ryder Cup rules state that the defending champion, in this case, the United States, needs to have 14 points to retain the Cup. The opposing team must win it outright by scoring 14½ points or more.
Odds to Win Outright
Heading into the three-day series of matches the USA is the favorite. A combination of PGA pro’s pack the team that includes the winner of the Master’s, Patrick Reed, as well as Tiger Woods who was last week’s winner of the Tour Championship. Justin Rose, of the European Team, won the FedEx Cup the same day as Woods Tour Championship victory. Look for the PGA to change the rules a bit for 2019 and 2020 to avoid dual champs at the same event. But, that’s another story – here are the odds.
Every player for Team USA is ranked in the top-25 of the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) after the PGA Tour Championship.
Here’s a look at the members representing the United States with their OWGR rankings. The first eight players qualified for the event with the remaining four players added to the team via Captain’s Pick.
Davis Love III, Steve Stricker, David Duval, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar are serving non-playing vice-captains. *Tiger Woods was named as a vice-captain but is no longer as he was placed on the team as a player.
European Team Members
Here’s a look at the members representing the European Team with their OWGR rankings and country. The first eight players qualified for the event with the remaining four players added to the team via Captain’s Pick.
Thomas Bjørn, Denmark
Francesco Molinari, Italy
Justin Rose, England
Tyrrell Hatton, England
Tommy Fleetwood, England
Jon Rahm, Spain
Rory McIlroy, N. Ireland
Alex Norén, Sweden
Thorbjørn Olesen, Denmark
Paul Casey, England
Sergio García, Spain
Ian Poulter, England
Henrik Stenson, Sweden
Robert Karlsson, Luke Donald, Pádraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell, and Lee Westwood are serving as non-playing vice-captains.
Additional Odds – Top American Point Scorers
Dustin Johnson +500, Brooks Koepka +500, Justin Thomas +600, Jordan Spieth +700, Patrick Reed +800, Tiger Woods +850, Rickie Fowler +900, Bryson Dechambeau +1000, Phil Mickelson +2000, Bubba Watson +2000, Webb Simpson +2000, Tony Finau +2500.
Additional Odds – Top European Point Scorers
Justin Rose +450, Rory McIlroy +450, Jon Rahm +700, Tommy Fleetwood +800, Francesco Molinari +900, Henrik Stenson +1000, Ian Poulter +1000, Sergio Garcia +1200, Paul Casey +1200, Alex Noren +1600, Tyrrell Hatton +2200, Thorbjorn Olesen +2200
Le Golf National
Le Golf National is located near Guyancour, France and includes three courses. There are two full-size course – The Albatros (Albatross), where the Ryder Cup will be played, and the Aigle (Eagle). The third course, which is named the Oiselet (Birdie) is a smaller nine-hole venue. The Albatross is known for punishing golfers who stray too far from the fairway. Dense roughs make for tough second shots. The course is slightly rolling with traditional European style bunkers and several water hazards. Heading into play on Friday reports indicate that the speed of the greens will be fast.
Location: Guyancour, France Designers: Hubert Chesneau Robert Von Hagge Pierre Thevenin Established: 1990 Par: 72 Length: 7,331 yards Greens: Seasonal Mix Fairways: Seasonal Mix
Ryder Cup Viewing times - all times ET
The Ryder Cup is being played in France, but coverage will be carried live as well as delayed for viewers in the United States.