The 36th Ryder Cup Matches will take place in Ireland between Friday 22nd and Sunday 24th September 2006. Over the course of three days Team Europe will take on Team USA competing for a total of 28 points and of course the Ryder Cup Trophy (not to mention the even more valuable bragging rights for the next two years)! These points are won over the 3-day event with four foursomes and four fourballs on both Days 1 and 2, and 12 singles matches on Day 3. Read on if you’re not sure what this means.
The 28 Ryder Cup matches involve matchplay matches between the two teams of twelve. Days 1 and 2 consist of 8 foursomes and 8 fourballs. A foursomes match has two teams of two golfers compete against each other. Only a single ball is played per team with each team member taking alternate shots throughout the game. Tee-shots are alternated between the players on a team at each hole. With the foursome format the pairing of the team members is crucial to balance each others strengths and weaknesses and even assign compatible personalities.
The fourball format is similar to the foursomes however each player plays his own ball throughout the match and the winner of each hole is the team who’s golfer had the lowest individual score on each hole. Not all players play in the foursome and fourball matches and the Ryder Cup captain can select any eight players for each of the four rounds of play over these two days.
The final day sees all players on the team partaking in 12 single matchplay matches between two golfers.
The winner of the Ryder Cup Trophy is simply that team with the most points at the end of the final day. If it is a tie then the present cup-holders retain the trophy.