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Ryder Cup 2014: Explaining the Format

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The 2014 Ryder Cup Matches

When: Sept. 26-28

Where: PGA Centenary Course, Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire, Scotland

Course: 7,262 yards, par 72

All-time record: U.S. leads 25–12–2

After a miracle comeback at the Ryder Cup Matches at Medinah in 2012, Europe is the prohibitive favorite to retain the Cup on home turf, as Tom Watson takes a shorthanded American team to Scotland for the most pressure-packed event in golf. Can a U.S. team led by crafty veteran Phil Mickelson and young gun Rickie Fowler upset a European powerhouse led by four-time major champion Rory McIlroy and Ryder Cup maestro Sergio Garcia?

To help get you ready for the drama, here's an explanation of the event's format:

Ryder Cup Format

Day One - Friday, Sept. 26

Morning Session — 4 points at stake

2 foursomes matches

2 fourballs matches

Afternoon Session — 4 points at stake

2 fourballs matches

2 foursomes matches

Day Two - Saturday, Sept. 27

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Morning Session — 4 points at stake

2 foursomes matches

2 fourballs matches

Afternoon Session — 4 points at stake

2 fourballs matches

2 foursomes matches

Day Three - Sunday, Sept. 28

12 singles matches — 12 points at stake

Total Points at Stake: 28

Europe would retain the Cup with 14 points. The U.S. would need 14½ points to re-claim the Cup.

Explanation

• In each match, there is one point at stake. Should the match end in a tie, each side is awarded a half-point.

• The Ryder Cup is conducted under rules of match play rather than stroke play. Match play scoring consists of individual holes won, halved or lost. Once a player or team is "up" more holes than there are holes remaining to play, the match is over.

• A foursomes match is a competition between two teams of two golfers. The two teammates take alternate shots throughout the match, with the same ball. A hole is won by the team that completes the hole in the fewest shots.

• A fourball match is a competition between two teams of two golfers, but all four golfers play their own ball throughout the round rather than alternating shots, and each hole is won by the team whose individual golfer has the lowest score.

• A singles match is a standard match play competition between two golfers.

• In a single Ryder Cup, an individual player can play a maximum of five matches (two foursomes, two fourballs and a singles match). All 12 players on both teams participate in singles, but the respective captains can select any eight players to play in fourballs and foursomes.