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How it works: Ryder Cup

3 Min Read

How It Works

How it works: Ryder Cup

    Written by Staff @PGATOUR

    The game’s top players head to Europe and Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome, Italy, for the 44th Ryder Cup. The three-day match-play competition will begin Friday, Sept. 29, featuring two days of Four-ball and Foursomes matches along with one day of Singles matches. Here’s what you need to know on the unique team format as the U.S. aims to win a Ryder Cup on European soil for the first time since 1993.

    Team Selections

    U.S. Roster:

    U.S. players had the chance to start earning Ryder Cup points at the start of 2022 up until the Aug. 20 conclusion of the 2023 BMW Championship, the second FedExCup Playoffs event, with the top six eligible players on the points list securing spots on the U.S. Team.

    The six U.S. qualifiers after the BMW Championship: Scottie Scheffler, Wyndham Clark, Brian Harman, Patrick Cantlay, Max Homa and Xander Schauffele.

    The six remaining slots for the U.S. Team go to Captain’s Selections, eligible players chosen by captain Zach Johnson, and were announced following the 2023 TOUR Championship on Aug. 29.

    The six U.S. Team captain’s picks: Sam Burns, Rickie Fowler, Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.

    European Roster:

    Qualifications for Team Europe began at the 2022 BMW PGA Championship, the fourth Rolex Series event of the 2022 season, and concluded Sept. 3, 2023. The six automatic qualifiers for Europe included the top three players from the European Points List and the top three from the World Points List not otherwise qualified. The final six slots are captain’s picks made by European captain Luke Donald on September 3rd.

    The six automatic qualifiers: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Robert MacIntyre from the European Points List; Viktor Hovland, Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick from the World Points List.

    The six captain’s picks: Ludvig Aberg, Tommy Fleetwood, Nicolai Hojgaard, Shane Lowry, Justin Rose and Sepp Straka.


    Each of the first two days includes one four-match session of Four-balls (also known as best-ball) and one four-match session of Foursomes (alternate-shot), with the final day reserved for 12 Singles matches.


    Each member of a two-man team plays his own ball (four balls are in play on every hole). Each team counts the lowest of its two scores on each hole, and the team whose player has the lowest score wins the hole. If the low scores are tied, the hole is halved.


    Each two-man team plays one ball per hole with the players taking turns until each hole is complete (two balls are in play on every hole). Players alternate hitting tee shots, with one leading off on odd-numbered holes, and the other hitting first on even-numbered holes. The team with the low score on each hole wins that hole. If their scores are tied, the hole is halved.


    Each match features one player from each team. The player with the lower score on each hole wins that hole. If their scores are tied, the hole is halved.


    Each match is worth one point, with matches ending in a tie worth 1/2 point to each side. The first team to reach 14.5 points (of the 28 available) wins the Ryder Cup. If the matches end in a 14-14 draw, the team holding the Ryder Cup retains it. The three days consist of 28 total matches, each worth one point. There are no extra holes in Ryder Cup matches. Should the two sides be tied after 18 holes, each side earns a halve (1/2 point).

    The U.S. Team is the defending champion heading into the 2023 Ryder Cup after a 19-9 victory at Whistling Straits in 2022. They will attempt to break a 30-year win drought on European soil.


    Unlike stroke play, players don't have to complete each hole in match play. If a player concedes a stroke to his opponent, the opponent picks up his ball, takes the score he would have made on the next stroke and moves on to the next hole.

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