It's official, the 2016 Ryder Cup is underway. And we couldn't be more excited. Here's what you need to know.
Competition begins 9/30/2016. Practice rounds started 9/27.
1) To anyone who holds any level of respect for the game of golf, we lost a great one this week: Arnold Palmer-- a golf icon, a style icon, a legend. He is, and will always be 'The King' of Golf. As a two time captain of the Ryder Cup team, Palmer refers to those victories that came while representing his country as his greatest achievements.
"It doesn't matter how many Open championships or titles that you may have won. When you stand on the tee at the Ryder Cup match and play for your country, your stomach rumblers like a kid turning up for his first tournament." ~Arnold Palmer
2) The Ryder Cup will be held at Hazeltine National Golf Club, in Chaska, MN. Hazeltine has hosted two US Opens (1970 and 1991) and two PGA Championships (2002 and 2009). In addition, they've hosted Women's US Opens, collegiate championships and the US Amateur. The most notable moment came in the 1991 US Open, when Payne Stewart and Scott Simpson battled it out in an 18 hole playoff where Stewart came back from being down 2 heading into the 16th hole.
3) How it works: The Ryder Cup is a men's golf competition between two teams-- one from the USA and one from Europe. It is played every other year with the venue rotating between American and European courses. Each team consists of twelve members, as chosen by the team captain. It will be up to the captain to determine who he wants to play in any of the 28 matches, spanning the three days of competition. The exception of this is Sunday's matchplay where all team members will play. Each of the 28 matches is worth one point and hence the first team to surpass 14 points wins the cup. Since Team Europe won the 2014 Ryder Cup, they only need to tie the match to retain the cup. This means they only need 14 points to win the 2016 Ryder Cup, while Team USA needs 14.5.
The 28 matches consist of the following formats:
Match-Play: Head-to-head competition where one point is rewarded to the winner of each hole. Play continues until one player can no longer surpass the other player.
Fourballs: 2 teams of 2 players are formed. Each player will play his own ball. Whichever player has the lowest score on a given hole wins that hole for his team.
Foursomes: Like fourballs, there are 2 team of 2 players. Amongst each team, players much take turns hitting the ball. One will hit the tee shot, but the other must hit the second shot, and so. They must alternate who hits the tee shot on each hole.
Singles: Each team member goes head to head with an opposing team member. There are twelve groups total. Match-play occurs on the final day (Sunday), often resulting in a dramatic finish.
Match format is as follows:
-4 Friday morning Foursomes matches
-4 Friday afternoon Fourball matches
-4 Saturday morning Foursomes matches
-4 Saturday afternoon Fourball matches
-12 Sunday Singles matches
4) This year's team members are as follows:
Players: Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka, Brandt Snedeker, Matt Kuchar, J.B. Holmes, Rickie Fowler, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Ryan Moore
Captain: Davis Love III
Players: Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Danny Willett, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Martin Kaymer, Thomas Pieters, Henrik Stenson, Lee Westwood, Andy Sullivan
Captain: Darren Clarke
This year's match, is a critical one for team USA. The US has won just 2 of the last 10 Ryder Cups. And they'll have the home course advantage.
5) Tiger Woods will be acting as Assistant Team Captain (along with Tom Lehman, Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk). It is yet to be determined if his presence will help or hinder the team.
We had the pleasure of attending the opening practice round. These were the essentials:
Support your love of the game, and support Team USA (also, Made in USA):