If foursomes are something you only normally come across on dodgy websites then you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Because for three days, 24 players are going to war for the US and European teams for golf’s most-coveted prize, the Ryder Cup.
The Americans are slight favourites in Paddy Power’s online betting at 8/11 with the European team at 11/8. The tie is 10/1.
Europe are the reigning champions after Graeme McDowell sank the winning putt at Celtic Manor, Wales, in 2010 to see off the Yankee invasion 14.5 to 13.5 to keep the Ryder Cup this side of the Atlantic. If there is a tie, Europe retain the trophy.
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are the standout names in the field but their individual genius and flair can’t win this competition alone.
Ryder Cup format explained
The format sees eight foursomes where a European team of two plays a US team of two. Each team plays one ball. The lowest team score per hole wins the points. If both scores are equal the hole is halved. The eight fourballs see two teams of two with each player playing his own ball and the lowest score wins the hole for the team.
If the rival team matches the other’s score, the hole is halved.
The 12 singles matches on the final day will decide the outright winner of the Ryder Cup. It is straight-forward match-play and all 12 players are on the course. Matches are won, halved or lost.
When the Ryder Cup starts expect tense-looking team captains doing passable impressions of SWAT-team commanders as their players high-five and fist-bump their way around Medinah’s testing 18 holes.
But most of all expect plenty of noise and excitement as the partisan American crowd becomes the 13th man as the United States look to bring the Ryder Cup ‘home’.
Get in the hole!