We take a look at the Ryder Cup format, where Europe go up against America at Hazeltine National Golf Club in the most exciting contest on the golfing calendar

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The Ryder Cup takes place at Hazeltine National Golf Club from Friday 30th September for three days. This year marks the 41st edition of the biennial contest between team USA and team Europe, who each take turns to host the tournament.

While the actual golf will begin on the Friday morning, the opening ceremony takes place on the Thursday evening, during which the two captains, Davis Love III for the USA and Darren Clarke for Europe, will announce their pairings for the first set of foursomes matches to take place the next day.

Five potential European Ryder Cup pairings

In total, 28 matches are contested at the Ryder Cup with each worth one point. 14.5 points are enough for an outright win, but if you’re the defending champions, a tie at 14 points means you retain the Ryder Cup. There are 12 players on each team and only eight players can play in each foursomes or fourball session.

The format of the matches

Friday’s play consists of four foursomes matches in the morning followed by four fourball matches in the afternoon. This is repeated on Saturday and then on Sunday, there are 12 singles matches during which everyone in each team plays an opponent drawn at random based on the order each captain puts their team out.

Foursomes is an alternate shot format where teams in pairs take turns to hit the shot on each hole. So if player 1 hits the tee shot, player 2 will play the next shot from where the ball finishes and so on. This continues until the ball is holed out. It is a matchplay competition against the other team, so whoever holes out with the lowest score wins the hole. Players on each team will take turns to tee off, so one player will tee off from the even-numbered holes, the other player from the odd-numbered holes.

In Fourballs, both players from each team play their own ball, so there are four balls in play on each hole. The best score from each team go against eachother in a matchplay competition.

The Ryder Cup schedule of play (Times BST)

Friday

Foursomes (4 points to be won)

1st Match 1.35pm

Patrick Reed & Jordan Spieth v Justin Rose & Henrik Stenson – 3&2 USA

2nd Match 1.50pm

Phil Mickelson & Rickie Fowler v Rory McIlroy & Andy Sullivan – 1UP USA

3rd Match 2.05pm

Jimmy Walker & Zach Johnson v Sergio Garcia & Matin Kaymer – 4&2 USA

4th Match 2.20pm

Dustin Johnson & Matt Kuchar v Lee Westwood & Thomas Pieters – 5&4 USA

Score: 4-0 USA

Fourballs (4 points to be won)

1st Match 6.30pm

Patrick Reed & Jordan Spieth v Justin Rose & Henrik Stenson – 5&4 EU

2nd Match 6.45pm

JB Holmes & Ryan Moore v Sergio Garcia & Rafa Cabrera Bello – 3&2 EU

3rd Match 7.00pm

Brandt Snedeker & Brooks Keopka v Martin Kaymer & Danny Willett – 5&4 USA

4th Match 7.15pm

Dustin Johnson & Matt Kuchar v Rory McIlroy & Thomas Pieters – 3&2 EU

Score: 5-3 USA

Saturday

Foursomes (4 points to be won)

1st Match 1.35pm

Rickie Fowler & Phil Mickelson v Rory McIlroy & Thomas Pieters – 3&2 EU

2nd Match 1.50pm

Brandt Snedeker & Brooks Keopka v Henrik Stenson & Matthew Fitzpatrick – 3&2 USA

3rd Match 2.05pm

Jimmy Walker & Zach Jonson v Justin Rose & Chris Wood – 1UP EU

4th Match 2.20pm

Patrick Reed & Jordan Spieth v Sergio Garcia & Rafa Cabrera Bello – Halved

Score: 6 1/2 -5 1/2 USA

Fourballs (4 points to be won)

1st Match 6.30pm

Brooks Keopka & Dustin Johnson v Rory McIlroy & Thomas Pieters – 3&2 EU

2nd Match 6.45pm

JB Holmes & Ryan Moore v Danny Willett & Lee Westwood – 1UP USA

3rd Match 7.00pm

Phil Mickelson & Matt Kuchar v Martin Kaymer & Sergio Garcia – 2&1 USA

4th Match 7.15pm

Patrick Reed & Jordan Spieth v Justin Rose & Henrik Stenson – 2&1 USA

Score: 9 1/2-6 1/2 USA

Sunday

Singles (12 points in total to be won)

1st Match 5.04pm

Patrick Reed v Rory McIlroy

2nd Match 5.15pm

Jordan Spieth v Henrik Stenson

3rd Match 5.26pm

J.B. Holmes v Thomas Pieters

4th Match 5.37pm

Rickie Fowler v Justin Rose

5th Match 5.48pm

Jimmy Walker v Rafa Cabrera Bello

6th Match 5.59pm

Phil Mickelson v Sergio Garcia

7th Match 6.10pm

Ryan Moore v Lee Westwood

8th Match 6.21pm

Brandt Snedeker v Andy Sullivan

9th Match 6.32pm

Dustin Johnson v Chris Wood

10th Match 6.43pm

Brooks Keopka v Danny Willett

11th Match 6.54pm

Matt Kuchar v Martin Kaymer

12th Match 7.05pm

Zach Johnson v Matthew Fitzpatrick

Singles Matches due to finish at approximately 10.55pm

 

All of the play will be shown live on Sky Sports – check out our guide to watching the Ryder Cup action without having to sign up to Sky Sports