Ryder Cup - how it works

Fri, Sep 28, 2012, 01:00

FORMATIn the Ryder Cup, both teams of 12 play each other over three days and 28 matches, of which each one is worth one point. To win the overall match 14.5 points are needed, but Europe will retain the trophy if it is a 14-14 tie.

The first day of competition features eight matches between two-man teams – four foursomes and four fourball matches. The format for the second day is identical, while Sunday features 12 singles matches. All 28 matches are contested under a matchplay format, whereby players compete against each other, not the course.


This morning’s foursomes pit two European players against two American counterparts. Each pairing only uses one ball and plays alternate shots. The pairings alternate who plays the tee shots with one player teeing off on the odd-numbered holes, the other on the even. As in fourballs the number of holes won determines the outcome in a matchplay format.


This afternoon’s four fourball pairings use the same number of players – eight from each side – for four matches. The best individual score wins the hole in a matchplay format where the number of holes won determines the outcome of the match.


All 12 players from each team pair up against each other in Sunday’s closing singles matches. Again, the lowest score on each hole wins the hole in this matchplay format.


(all times Irish, fourball tee-times subject to change)


1.20pm – Foursomes matches (at 15-minute intervals)

6.05pm – Fourball matches (at 15-minute intervals)


1.20pm Foursomes matches (at 15-minute intervals)

6.05pm Fourball matches (at 15-minute intervals)


5.03pm Singles matches (at 11-minute intervals)

11.30pm Closing ceremony



Live: Sky Sports 1, 12.30pm to 12.30am Highlights: BBC 2, 12am to 2.05am


Live: Sky Sports 1, 12.30pm to 12.30am Highlights: BBC 2, 12am to 2am


Live: Sky Sports, 4pm to 12.30am Highlights: BBC 2, 11.05pm to 1.05am


irishtimes.comwill have live coverage on all three days, with Johnny Watterson live blogging the drama as it unfolds while Philip Reid will have reports from Medinah.


Friday – BBC Radio 5, 1pm to 1am Saturday – BBC Radio 5, 3pm to 1am Sunday – BBC Radio 5, 5pm to 12am



A pleasant start with clear skies and a minimal chance of rain. Temperatures should reach 22C with light winds all the day.


Slightly more humid, with temperatures due to rise to 25C, but winds of 15m.p.h. will keep the players cool.


Another fine day, slightly cooler than Saturday with temperatures in the low 20s. Early morning fog will have cleared well before the singles get under way at 11am.


USA win (outright): 4/6 Europe win (outright): 13/8 Draw: 10/1

To lift the trophy: USA 8/11, Europe 11/10

Top Points Scorer: 8/1 Tiger Woods, 9/1 Rory McIlroy, 11/1 Luke Donald, 14/1 Dustin Johnson, 16/1 Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Steve Stricker, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter.

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