There are three unique styles of play in which Ryder Cup teams can score points. Each style has a different strategy for winning and team captains must alternate who declares their golfers first and who can counter, a significant advantage to the person who chooses second.
Instead of scoring based on the cumulative number of strokes taken, like how PGA tournaments score with the lowest cumulative score winning, match play scores winners by the number of holes won. Holes are won by a score of 1-0 based on who took fewer shots during the hole. It does not matter if the USA gets a hole-in-one and Europe double bogeys; Team USA would win the hole by one point, at the tee box of the next hole, the players are even for the hole again. Similarly, a bad hole does not necessarily sink a player for the rest of the match as both golfers start the next hole even. If both golfers are tied for the hole, each golfer receives ½ point.
Friday, September 30, teams will play a four match session of Fourballs and a four match session of Foursomes. A total of eight points will be up for grabs on Friday.
Saturday, October 1 will be a repeat of Friday with teams playing a four match session of Fourballs and a four match session of Foursomes. A total of eight points will be up for grabs on Friday.
Sunday, October 2, teams will play 12 singles matches with twelves points being contested.
The winning team of the Ryder Cup will be decided by the first team to reach 14½ points. Unlike PGA Tour events, Ryder Cup golfers do not have to complete all holes, if they have lost the point; the losing golfer can concede the point, pick up their ball and move on. Their opponent gains one point in this situation.
Learn about the different matches of the Ryder Cup – Fourballs, Foursomes and Singles.
Action from September 29 practice round. Click on an image to view.