The Ryder Cup is a biennial men's golf competition featuring teams from Europe and the United States. It takes place on alternating courses in the USA and Europe and is organized and managed jointly by the Professional Golfers’ Association of America and Ryder Cup Europe.
The inaugural Ryder Cup event occurred in 1927 at Worcester Country Club, Massachusetts, USA. After a hiatus during World War II, the tournament resumed, with American dominance prompting the inclusion of continental Europe in 1979.
In 1973, the British Team changed its name to "Great Britain and Ireland" to acknowledge Irish golfers participating since 1953 and Northern Irish players since 1947.
Since 1979, Europe has triumphed more than ten times and once retained the Cup in a tied match, while the Americans have won seven times during this period. The European team comprises players from various countries, including Belgium, France, Spain, Sweden, Germany, and Italy.
The Presidents Cup serves as the counterpart to the Ryder Cup. Both events are unique in the realm of professional sports, as players do not receive monetary prizes despite the significant television and sponsorship revenue generated.
The Cup's format has evolved over time. Initially, it consisted of a two-day competition with 36-hole matches until 1959, when it transitioned to 18-hole matches. In 1961, matches doubled, and in 1963, the event expanded to three days, introducing four-ball matches. This format persisted until 1977, when it was reduced to 20 matches in 1979, coinciding with the inclusion of continental European players. The current format, featuring 28 matches, includes eight foursomes or four-ball matches on the first two days and 12 singles matches on the final day.
In 2014, Team Europe achieved a historic hat-trick of consecutive victories in the prestigious match play golf tournament. However, in 2016, the United States secured their first Ryder Cup title in eight years with a resounding 17-11 victory over Europe.
What is the Ryder Cup schedule? Future Events
- 2023 — 44th Ryder Cup, Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, Rome, Italy
- 2025 — 45th Ryder Cup, Bethpage Black Course, (Farmingdale, New York)
- 2027 — 46th Ryder Cup, Adare Manor Adare, County Limerick, Republic of Ireland
- 2029 — 47th Ryder Cup, Hazeltine National Golf Club (Chaska, Minnesota)
- 2031 — 48th Ryder Cup
- 2033 — 49th Ryder Cup, The Olympic Club, San Francisco, California
- 2035 — 50th Ryder Cup
- 2037 — 51st Ryder Cup, Congressional Country Club, Bethesda, Maryland
What is the Ryder Cup format?
For the team selection process:
USA: The U.S. Team will consist of the top six eligible players based on their points rankings. Additionally, the captain will have the authority to select six players as captain's picks.
All U.S. players have the opportunity to earn points starting in 2022, with the qualification period concluding immediately after the second FedEx Cup Play-Off event (BMW Championship) on August 20, 2023. The top six players in the points rankings at that time will secure their spots on the U.S. Team. The remaining six slots will be filled with eligible players chosen as Captain’s Selections, and these selections will be announced by Captain Johnson following the 2023 Tour Championship.
EUROPE: The European Team will be composed of the top three eligible players from the European Points List, the top three eligible players from the World Points List, and six captain's picks.
Qualification for Team Europe starts at the 2022 BMW PGA Championship, which is the fourth Rolex Series event of the 2022 season and will be held at Wentworth Club from September 8-11. It concludes on September 3, 2023, three weeks before the Ryder Cup week. At that point, the six players who qualify automatically will be confirmed. These six automatic qualifiers will consist of the three leading players on the European Points List and the three leading players on the World Points List.
European Captain Luke Donald will then complete his 12-man Ryder Cup team by selecting an additional six players as Captain’s Picks.
Format of match play competition at the Ryder Cup
Ryder Cup Format: The Ryder Cup format includes one four-match session of fourball and one four-match session of foursomes on each of the first two days. The final day is dedicated to 12 singles matches.
FOUR-BALL: In four-ball, each two-player team plays its own ball, resulting in four balls in play on every hole. The team counts the lowest of its two scores on each hole, with the team whose player has the lowest score winning the hole. If the lowest scores are tied, the hole is halved.
FOURSOMES: In foursomes, each two-player team plays one ball per hole, taking turns until each hole is complete. Players alternate hitting tee shots, with one leading off on odd-numbered holes and the other teeing off first on even-numbered holes. The team with the lowest score on each hole wins that hole. If the scores are tied, the hole is halved.
SINGLES: In singles, each match features one player from each team. The player with the lower score on each hole wins that hole. If their scores are tied, the hole is halved.
Ryder Cup Scoring
Each match is valued at one point, and tied matches are worth ½ point for each side. The team that reaches 14 ½ points first wins the Ryder Cup. If the matches result in a 14-14 tie, the team currently holding the Ryder Cup retains it.
POINTS: Throughout the three days of competition, there are 28 total matches, each worth one point. No extra holes are played in Ryder Cup matches. If a match is tied after 18 holes, both teams earn half a point.
CLAIMING THE CUP: To win the Ryder Cup outright, a team must accumulate 14 ½ of the available 28 points. In the event of a 14-14 tie, the team that won the previous Ryder Cup retains the trophy.
CONCESSION: Unlike stroke play, in match play, players do not have to complete each hole. If a player concedes a stroke, typically a putt, to their opponent, the opponent picks up their ball, records the score they would have made on the next stroke, and proceeds to the next hole.
Why are Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and other LIV golfers not playing in the Ryder Cup?
Brooks Koepka is the only LIV golfer to be playing at the Ryder Cup in Italy for 2023. He was given a wildcard pick by American team captain Zach Johnson due to his stellar form in 2023, coming second at the Masters and winning the PGA Championship. He almost had enough points from these outings to make the team automatically, narrowly missing out by roughly $30,000.
Other notable players from past Ryder Cups for the American team like Dustin Johnson and Bryson Dechambeau did not get enough qualifying points or be in good enough form to get a captain's pick.
European stalwarts like Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter are ineligible to play due the rules set out by the DP World tour for qualification.