By: Davis Gurley
They 2016 Ryder Cup will kick off on September 27th, at the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota. The Ryder Cup is a team based, match play, golfing event between the best golfer from the United States and Europe. This is not like another old golf tournament you see on T.V. where the lowest score over a four day period wins. Different styles of play happen over a three day span. Each group is in a match play format, where not total score matter, but the score from each hole matters, and ultimately whoever has won the most holes at the end will win. The winner of each match is awarded a point, and in the result of a tie each team is awarded half a point. 14.5 points is needed to win the cup and in the result of a 14 to 14 tie, the defending champion is awarded the cup.
This event is held every other year, with Europe coming in as defending champions for the last three cups. The United states is looking for their first win at the Ryder Cup since 2008, where they bested Europe at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. The United States leads the all time series with a 25-12-2 record, but Europe has been a difficult opponent as of late, winning eight of the last ten Ryder Cups.
Ryder cup teams are made up of twelve man teams, lead by a captain and a group of vice-captains, who do not play in the matches, but are still very good golfers themselves. The captains this year are Darren Clarke for Europe, and Davis Love III for the United States. Clarke is joined by a five man vice-captain roster that includes, Thomas Bjorn, Padraig Harrington, Paul Lawrie, Ian Poulter, and Sam Torrance. Love is accompanied by five vice-captains as well in Jim Furyk, Tom Lehman, Steve Stricker, Bubba Watson, and the legend himself, Tiger Woods. The 12 man rosters are decided by a point system created by that countries choosing and a select few captains picks. The United States point system places the top eight point getters, on the team automatically, while the other four men are decided by Love. Europe automatically places the top nine point getters on the team, while Clarke picks the other three men.
The United states team is coming in with lots of big names including the World Golf Ranking’s number two, Dustin Johnson, and the number four Jordan Spieth. Along with them there is J.B. Holmes, Rickie Fowler, Zach Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Brandt Snedecker, Jimmy Walker, and Ryan Moore. The only rookie to the Ryder cup on the United States team is Brooks Koepka, and experience is always an advantage, especially in a sport where nerves can hurt a competitor a lot.
Europe’s team also includes some big names, with the world number three Rory Mcilroy, this years Master’s champion Danny Willett, and the first Olympic gold medalist in golf since 1904, Justin Rose. Accompanied by them is Rafa Cabrera Bello, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Thomas Peters, Henrik Stenson, Andy Sullivan, Lee Westwood, and Chris Wood. Europe is bringing in half of their team as rookies to the Cup.
The United States has high hopes coming into the Ryder Cup this year, with their edge in experience in the Cup, but will it be enough to take down the European power house that has proven to be so tough to beat in the last 20 years. Where some may think that young is always better than old in sports, many know golf is one of the only sports where a 20 year old can get out shined and out played by a 50 year old man. Will that experience be enough to take down the Europeans for the first time in man years? We will have to wait and see.
(Featured Image: A Adam, Flickr)