In Depth

2018 Ryder Cup guide: final results, players, course, history

Golf’s Ryder Cup takes place in France from 28-30 September

After four sensational major championships this season, attention is focusing on Le Golf National in Paris, where Team Europe will attempt to win back the Ryder Cup after Team USA’s 17-11 victory at Hazeltine two years ago.

European captain Thomas Bjorn’s 12-man squad will feature five Ryder Cup rookies, balanced by the experience of his wildcard picks: Paul Casey, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson. They join the likes of Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy and Open winner Francesco Molinari in the squad for the Paris showdown.

Team USA captain Jim Furyk brings a strong line-up to Le Golf National. The Americans’ 12-man squad includes 2018 US Open and PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka, 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed, world No.1 Dustin Johnson and three-time major winner Jordan Spieth. Also included is 14-time major winner Tiger Woods. Expect fireworks in France…

2018 Ryder Cup fact file

What: Team Europe vs. Team USAWhen: 28-30 SeptemberWhere: Le Golf National, ParisWebsite: rydercup.com 2016 winner: Team USA won 17-11Total number of Ryder Cups: 41Wins: 26 Team USA; 13 Team EuropeMatches tied: TwoNumber of matches: 956Number of players: 347

Final score: Team Europe 17½ Team USA 10½

Friday fourball results

● Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau (USA) beat Justin Rose and Jon Rahm (Europe) 1 up ● Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler (USA) beat Rory McIlroy and Thorbjorn Olesen (Europe) 4&2 ● Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas (USA) beat Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton (Europe) 1 up ● Patrick Reed and Tiger Woods (USA) lost to Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood (Europe) 3&1

Friday foursome results

● Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose (Europe) beat Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler (USA) 3&2 ● Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter (Europe) beat Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson (USA) 4&2 ● Sergio Garcia and Alex Noren (Europe) beat Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson (USA) 5&4 ● Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood (Europe) beat Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth (USA) 5&4

Saturday fourball results

● Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia (Europe) beat Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau (USA) 2&1 ● Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton (Europe) beat Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler (USA) 3&2 ● Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood (Europe) beat Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed (USA) 4&3 ● Ian Poulter and Jon Rahm (Europe) lost to Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth (USA) 2&1

Saturday foursome results

● Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson (Europe) beat Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka (USA) 2&1● Sergio Garcia and Alex Noren (Europe) lost to Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson (USA) 3&2 ● Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood (Europe) beat Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 5&4● Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy (Europe) lost to Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas (USA) 4&3

Sunday singles results

● Rory McIlroy (Europe) lost to Justin Thomas (USA) 1 up ● Paul Casey (Europe) vs. Brooks Koepka (USA) A/S ● Justin Rose (Europe) lost to Webb Simpson (USA) 3&2 ● Jon Rahm (Europe) beat Tiger Woods (USA) 2&1 ● Tommy Fleetwood (Europe) lost to Tony Finau (USA) 6&4 ● Ian Poulter (Europe) beat Dustin Johnson (USA) 2 up ● Thorbjorn Olesen (Europe) beat Jordan Spieth (USA) 5&4 ● Sergio Garcia (Europe) beat Rickie Fowler (USA) 2&1 ● Francesco Molinari (Europe) beat Phil Mickelson (USA) 4&2 ● Tyrrell Hatton (Europe) lost to Patrick Reed (USA) 3&2 ● Henrik Stenson (Europe) beat Bubba Watson (USA) 5&4 ● Alex Noren (Europe) beat Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 1 up

How the teams line up

Team EuropeCaptain: Thomas BjornVice-captains: Luke Donald, Padraig Harrington, Robert Karlsson, Graeme McDowell, Lee WestwoodEurope’s 12-player squad: Francesco Molinari, Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood, Thorbjorn Olesen, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Alex Noren, Paul Casey, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson

Team USACaptain: Jim FurykVice-captains: David Duval, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Davis Love III, Steve StrickerUSA’s 12-player squad: Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Webb Simpson, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Tony Finau

Scoring and match formats

What is the format of the Ryder Cup?

Held every two years, the Ryder Cup is contested by 12-player squads from Europe and the United States. It is regarded as golf’s biggest event.

The Ryder Cup format is:● Five match-play sessions played over three days● First two days feature one four-match session of fourball and one four-match session of foursomes● Final day is reserved for 12 singles matches

How the scoring works

There are a total of 28 matches played across the three days. Each match is worth one point, with a draw worth half a point to each side. The first team to reach 14½ points wins the Ryder Cup. If it ends in a 14-14 tie, the team holding the Ryder Cup retains it. Team USA are the reigning champions after winning 17-11 in 2016 at the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.

How the matches work

On Friday and Saturday the two teams will battle against each other in one four-match session of fourball and one four-match session of foursomes. Sunday will see 12 singles matches. A total of 28 matches mean 28 points are up for grabs. Here’s how the matches work according to RyderCup.com

● Fourballs (Friday and Saturday): “Each player of two-man team plays his own ball, so four balls are in play on every hole. Each team counts the lowest of its two scores on each hole, and the team whose player has the lowest score wins the hole. If the low scores are tied, the hole is halved.” ● Foursomes (Friday and Saturday): “Each two-man team plays one ball per hole with the players taking turns until each hole is complete. Players alternate hitting tee shots, with one leading off on odd-numbered holes, and the other hitting first on even-numbered holes. The team with the low score on each hole wins that hole. If their scores are tied, the hole is halved.” ● Singles (Sunday): “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.” 

About the course: Le Golf National

Located in Versailles, south-west of the French capital, Le Golf National will host the Ryder Cup for the first time. It has also been the host course of the Open de France European Tour golf tournament 26 times.

Team Europe will take on Team USA on L’Albatros course. Ryder Cup matches will be played to a par 71 and the course length is 7,183 yards (6,568 metres).

Golf Monthly writer Elliott Heath says: “There are plenty of chances for nightmares and we’re bound to see some thrilling matches at the Ryder Cup with players pulling off incredible shots as well as balls flying into the water at crucial moments.”

Ryder Cup: history and first match

Golf’s biggest event was born when two unofficial matches took place between Great Britain and the United States in 1921 at Gleneagles and 1926 at Wentworth. Both were won by the British, but it was the second match at Wentworth that gave birth to the concept of the tournament.

One of the men watching in the gallery was Samuel Ryder, an English seed merchant and entrepreneur from St Albans in Hertfordshire. Ryder was “enthralled” by the match at Wentworth and suggested in the bar afterwards that “we must do this again”, reports the European Tour website.

The Ryder Cup was born and the first official match took place in 1927 between the USA and Great Britain at Worcester Country Club, Worcester, Massachusetts. The USA, captained by Walter Hagen, won by 9½ to 2½.

For more on the history of the Ryder Cup, see our profile of the tournament.

About the trophy

Samuel Ryder presented the trophy as the prize for the golf match between USA and GB. It was commissioned for £250 and stands 17 inches high.

“The golfing figure depicted on the top of the trophy reflects the image of Abe Mitchell, a former gardener himself and a friend and instructor of Samuel Ryder,” according to rydercup.com. “A bout of appendicitis prevented Mitchell from competing in the inaugural matches in 1927. But he returned to compete for Great Britain in 1929, 1931 and 1933.”

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