Golf – Ryder Cup: What is it and What are its origins?

The Ryder Cup is an ancient Golf Competition played every 2 years between Professional golfers’ teams of the United States and Europe.

The name of this event pays homage to Samuel Ryder, an english business person that donated the trophy for the competition.

The 1st Ryder Cup was held in 1927 (Massachusetts, USA) and until 1977 the European team was solely composed of english players (with the exception that between1953 and 1977 other UK Golfers, namely Irish ones, entered the European team).

It was only from 1979 and due to the efforts of very famous Golfer Jack Nicklaus, that the European team started to draft continental players as well. This decision had not only the aim of widespreading Europe’s representativeness, but also tried to put an end to USA team overwhelming dominance.

In fact, between the first edition and 1977 the USA team won 18 of the 22 Ryder Cups (1969 ended in a Tie). After 1979 and until the last 2012 edition, Europe leads 9-7 (1989 ended in a Tie)

The current Ryder Cup contests consists of several types of matches between players selected from two teams (each team drafts 12 players).  Each Ryder Cup encompasses eight foursomes matches, eight fourball matches and 12 singles matches (all matches are played over 18 holes) and the winner of each match scores a point for his team (½ a point in case of a tie).

A ‘foursomes match’ is played by two teams of two golfers. The golfers on the same team take alternate shots throughout the match, with the same ball. Each hole is won by the team that completes the hole in the fewest shots.

A ‘fourball match’ is also a competition between two teams of two golfers, but all four golfers play their own ball throughout the round rather (like in a single match) 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.

The Ryder Cup takes place between a Friday to a Sunday with a total of 28 matches. The current format of the event includes 8 foursomes and 8 fourball matches and an additional 12 singles matches.

UK’s Nick Faldo is the Golfer with more appearances in Ryder Cup (11) as well as points scored (25)

The event’s location alternates between USA and Europe.

The 2012 Ryder Cup took place from 28–30 September, at Medinah, Illinois, USA. Europe won by a score 14½ points to 13½ having overturned a four-point deficit going into the last day’s. USA most famous golfer – Tiger Woods – had a very weak performance only scoring 1/2 a point for his team in all matches he played.

The 2014 Ryder Cup Edition will be held at the Gleneagles Hotel in Perth & Kinross, Scotland. Portugal (Comporta), alongside other 4 european countries, bidded to organize the 2018 edition but France (Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines Golf Course) was chosen in the end.

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