Team USA managed to peg back the European lead on day two of the Ryder Cup, but the visitors still have a huge task ahead of them in Sunday’s singles.
Going into Saturday’s play, Europe had a 6½-1½ lead. The home team extended that to 9½-2½ during the morning foursomes, with Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg recording an extraordinary 9&7 victory over Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka. After that shellacking, Scheffler was spotted crying on his wife’s shoulder.
The US team fought back in the Saturday fourballs, however, with three points to Europe’s one. The final match – Matt Fitzpatrick and Rory McIlroy vs Patrick Cantlay and Wyndham Clark – went down to the final green, with Cantlay draining the winning putt from mid-distance. Bad blood between the players spilled over during the match and in the car park afterwards, with McIlroy appearing to complain about the behaviour of some members of the US entourage around the greens.
The upshot is that, going into Sunday’s singles, Europe lead 10½-5½, and need four more points to win.
When is the Ryder Cup?
This year’s Ryder Cup started on Friday, September 29 with the final day coming today, Sunday 1 October.
The Ryder Cup is always staged in late September or early October after the season’s major championships, and lasts for three days.
Where is it being held?
The 44th Ryder Cup is being hosted by Italy, for the first time in its history.
The venue is the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club just outside Rome, which has previously hosted the Italian Open. For a more detailed look at its 18 holes, we have compiled a hole-by-hole guide to the course.
Italian players to represent Europe with distinction include Costantino Rocca and the Molinari brothers, Francesco and Eduardo.
Seven of the past eight contests have been won by the home side, the exception being the ‘Miracle at Medinah’ in 2012 where Europe recovered from 10-4 down to pull off a remarkable victory.
Nine of the United States team made a recent scouting trip to Marco Simone as they attempt to secure a first win on European soil since 1993, but many of the European side have contested the Italian Open at the venue over the past three years, with Bob MacIntyre (2022) and Nicolai Hojgaard (2021) winning the title.
How can I watch on TV?
NBC is the broadcaster in America, where viewers had to either stay up late or wake up very early to catch the morning sessions on Friday and Saturday.
No such worries for viewers in the UK, where there will be exclusive live television coverage on Sky Sports. Click here for full details of how to watch the Ryder Cup.
What is the Ryder Cup?
The Ryder Cup, one of the most-watched sporting events in the world, is distinctive for inserting competitors from an individual sport into a team environment. Aside from the golf, the team dynamics and relationships have made for compelling viewing.
Amateur golfer and businessman Samuel Ryder conceived the idea of a match between British and American professionals, with the inaugural Ryder Cup played in Massachusetts in 1927.
The match was played between an American and British or British and Irish team until 1977.
After nine US victories and one tie in 10 meetings, Jack Nicklaus wrote a letter to Lord Derby (then president of the British PGA) suggesting Britain and Ireland merge with Continental Europe to make the Ryder Cup more competitive.
Ryder Cups became far more closely fought and dramatic by the mid-Eighties, and the extravaganza we know today was born.
Who are the Ryder Cup captains?
Europe are led by Luke Donald, who replaced Henrik Stenson last year after the Swede was stripped of the title because of his defection to LIV Golf. The US captain is 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson.
Who is on the teams?
Six players qualified automatically – the three leading players on the European points list and the next three players on the world points list. The qualification period ended on Sept 3.
The six leading European players are (from the European points list) Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Bob MacIntyre and (from the world points list) Viktor Hovland, Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick.
For his six wild cards, Donald picked Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Sepp Straka, Shane Lowry, Nicolai Hojgaard and Ludvig Aberg.
European golfers who are playing on the LIV Golf tour were not permitted to qualify for the Ryder Cup. This is because European Ryder Cup players must be members of the DP World Tour and those players who signed up with LIV were forced to give up their places on the DP World Tour.
Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland)
Jon Rahm (Spain)
Bob MacIntyre (Scotland)
Viktor Hovland (Norway)
Tyrrell Hatton (England)
Matt Fitzpatrick (England)
Tommy Fleetwood (England)
Sepp Straka (Austria)
Justin Rose (England)
Shane Lowry (Ireland)
Nicolai Hojgaard (Denmark)
Ludvig Aberg (Sweden)
United States captain Zach Johnson selected out-of-form Justin Thomas and LIV Golf rebel Brooks Koepka.
Five-time major winner Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa, Sam Burns and Rickie Fowler completed the US captain’s six picks to join automatic qualifiers Scottie Scheffler, Open Champion Brian Harman, US Open winner Wyndham Clark, Max Homa, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schuaffele.
Thomas failed to qualify for the FedEx Cup play-offs and admitted it had been “humiliating and embarrassing” to card a second round of 81 in the US Open in June.
The two-time major winner also carded an opening 82 in the Open at Royal Liverpool, but was selected by Johnson ahead of the likes of Keegan Bradley and Cameron Young.
Why are Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and other LIV golfers not playing in the Ryder Cup?
In order to be eligible for selection for the European Ryder Cup team, players must hold DP World Tour membership – something Garcia, Westwood and Ian Poulter gave up this year.
European golfers who joined the breakaway LIV tour were engaged in a lengthy legal dispute with the Tour over the latter’s ability to sanction them for making the Saudi switch.
This year, it was ruled the Tour could punish LIV players, with each given fines totalling up to £100,000 in some cases as well as a three-event ban.
Poulter led attempts to appeal this decision but when the Tour’s ability to issue the sanctions was upheld, he, along with other leading European LIV players, chose to hand in their tour card and thus renege their Ryder Cup eligibility.
Why has Brooks Koepka been selected?
The key distinction with the US team is that Ryder Cup eligibility is not linked to the PGA Tour but to membership of the PGA of America – the organisers of the USPGA.
Koepka, and other US LIV golfers, are blocked from playing on the PGA Tour but have still been able to earn ranking points through playing in the four majors.
Despite winning the USPGA and finishing second at the Masters, Koepka did not qualify automatically for Team USA but he – and other LIV golfers – remained eligible for Ryder Cup selection through their continued membership of the PGA of America.
What is the Ryder Cup format?
Most golf tournaments such as the Masters and Open Championship are strokeplay, where every shot counts and the player with the lowest score after 72 holes wins.
The Ryder Cup is matchplay, meaning players compete as individuals or pairs against their opponents rather than the course. The pair or player with the lowest score wins the hole. For example, if Europe record a four on the first hole and the US a five, Europe will go one-up. If the scores are reversed on the second, the match will go back to all-square and so forth.
The match is won when the advantage is bigger than the number of holes remaining. If it finishes all-square, the match is halved.
There are two teams of 12. On Friday, there are four foursomes matches in the morning and four fourballs matches in the afternoon. This is repeated on Saturday. It means four players from each team sit out each session, with the team captain selecting his pairs and deciding who to leave out. There can be different pairs for each format.
The only time all 24 players are on the course is Sunday’s ‘singles’ when they go head-to-head in 12 direct match-ups.
Winning a match earns your team a point, with a halved match worth half a point to each team. For full details on the format, click here.
Those proficient at maths will have realised there are 28 points on offer, so both teams are aiming for 14 1/2 points to win the Ryder Cup. A 14-14 tie would mean the holders retain the trophy (i.e. the US on this occasion).
What is the Ryder Cup schedule?
Tuesday, 27-Thursday 28 September
Practice days with the opening ceremony on Thursday evening.
Friday, September 29
Saturday, Sept 30
Sunday, Oct 1
What are the best of the odds?
Odds correct as of September 30
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