The Ryder Cup is perhaps one of the most exciting and unique events in all of professional golf. PGA tournaments typically follow a stroke play format with each player competing individually against one another for the tournament championship. The Ryder Cup is a team competition, featuring teams from the United States vs Europe.
The format during the three-day event is that of match play, which involves teams of two players and individual players attempting to win each hole outright for points. The first day features four morning foursomes competing in four alternate shot matches. Each match is worth one point to the winning team. The afternoon matches feature four more foursomes with two-man teams competing in a best ball competition, again one point being awarded to each winning team.
Day Two again features four more alternate shot matches and four afternoon best ball matches. The final day involves 12 singles matches, which adds to the drama as players battle one against one and country against country for a point in every singles match and the eventual team title of Ryder Cup Champion.
The Ryder Cup competition is played every two years and the location alternates between the United States and Europe. This year’s 42nd Ryder Cup will be played on the Albatros Course of Le Golf National, just outside of Paris. This will be the second Ryder Cup to be held in continental Europe, after the 1997 contest, which was held in Spain in 1997.
The Americans won the 2016 Ryder Cup, which was played at Hazelton National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota. The American team combined experience with youth as they upset the highly favored Europeans 17 -11.
The 2018 European team is captained by Thomas Bjorn. Representing team Europe will be Francesco Molinari, Justin Rose, Jon Rahm, Rory McIIroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Alex Noren, Tyrell Hatton, Thorbjorn Oleson, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson, and Paul Casey.
The American team is captained by Jim Furyk. The highly favoured American team includes Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Jordan Speith, Ricky Fowler, Webb Simpson, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Bryson DeChambeau, and Tony Finau.
The captains for each team will have to make their daily pairings based on player’s skills, compatibility, chemistry, and confidence. Final pairings for each day’s matches will be based on the success of each pairing at the end of each daily match. The Ryder Cup is unique, as the competitors are playing more for pride, their team, and their country, rather than the purse which is usually the reward for winning a tournament.
The team that will win this year's Ryder Cup will combine skill, enthusiasm, and excitement. To win, the Americans are going to need some great shot-making from all of their players, and team captain Jim Furyk will need to pair up players that will get the team excited with shots that will bring loud cheers and plenty of 'fist pumping'.
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