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How it works: Presidents Cup format

5 Min Read


    Written by Staff @PGATOUR

    2018 Ryder Cup preview

    The International Team hosts the U.S. Team this week at Royal Melbourne for the Presidents Cup. Here's all you need to know in how the four-day event wil work in Australia.

    2019 Format: The Presidents Cup competition consists of 30 matches:

    Thursday – 5 Four-Ball matches
    Friday – 5 Foursomes matches
    Saturday morning – 4 Four-Ball matches
    Saturday afternoon – 4 Foursomes matches
    Sunday – 12 Singles matches

    In 2019, a minor format change will be implemented, stating each player shall only be required to play a minimum of one match prior to the final-round singles matches. This is a change from previous years when players were required to compete in two matches prior to singles matches.

    All matches are worth one point each, for a total of 30 points. There are no playoffs, with each side receiving a half point if a match is tied after 18 holes.

    In a change inspired by the events of the 2003 Presidents Cup, if the competition is deadlocked at the end of Singles play, the competition will be deemed a tie and the teams will share the Presidents Cup.

    FOUR-BALL: Each member of a two-man team plays his own ball, so 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.

    FOURSOMES: Each two-man team plays one ball per hole with the players taking turns until each hole is complete. 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.

    SINGLES: 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.

    Unlike stroke play, players don't have to complete each hole in match play. If a player concedes a stroke – almost always a putt – 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.

    Team: The team is the entire 12 players and captain(s). This year, Tiger Woods is a playing captain for the U.S. Team.

    Advice: Any counsel or suggestion that could influence a player in determining his play, the choice of a club or the method of making a stroke. Each team may appoint one person who may give advice to members of that team. Such person must be identified to the Committee before giving advice.

    Side (not team): A side is a player, or two or more players who are partners (Foursomes or Four-ball)

    Partner: A partner is a player associated with another player on the same side.

    Opponent: In match play it is never a competitor, always an opponent or player.

    Order of Play in Four-Ball: The balls belonging to the same side may be played in the order the side considers best.

    Committee: “The Committee” is the committee in charge of the competition.

    Referee: The referee is one who is appointed by the committee to accompany players to decide questions of fact and apply the Rules. He shall act on any breach of a Rule that he observes or is reported to him. A referee’s decision is final.

    Observer: An observer is one who is appointed by the Committee to assist a referee to decide questions of fact and report to him any breach of a Rule.

    Honorary Observer: An honorary observer is one who is appointed by the Committee to assist the observer.

    Reckoning of Hole (status of match): Reckoning of holes is kept by the terms: so many “holes up,” or “tied” and so many “holes to play.”

    Dormie: A match is dormie when a side is as many holes up as there are holes remaining to be played.

    Concession of next stroke, hole or match (Rule 2-4): When the opponent’s ball is at rest or is deemed to be at rest under Rule 16-2, the player may concede the opponent to have holed out with his next stroke and the ball may be removed by either side with a club or otherwise. A player may concede a hole or a match at any time prior to the conclusion of the hole or the match. Concession of a stroke, hole or match may not be declined or withdrawn.

    Claims (Rule 2-5): Any claim or dispute which arises between sides shall be made to the referee before any player in the match plays from the next teeing ground or, in the case of the last hole of the match, before all players in the match leave the putting green.

    Practice (Rule 7) is allowed as follows:

    1. Before or between rounds, a player or players may practice on the course.

    2. During the round, a player shall not practice either during the play of a hole or between the play of two holes, except that, between play of two holes, the player may practice putting or chipping on or near the putting green of the last hole played, any practice putting green or the teeing ground of the next hole to be played in the round, provided such practice stroke is not played from a hazard and does not unduly delay play. Strokes played in continuing the play of a hole, the result in which has been decided, are not practice