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On Friday, the Ryder Cup competition started in Paris, France. Once every two years, the world’s two great golf powers, the USA and Europe, face off for the Ryder Cup, a match-play team competition featuring the best Americans (and a couple of Captain’s picks) against the best Europeans (and a couple of Captain’s picks) for the Ryder Cup Trophy. The competition is contested on a biennial basis, and the site alternates between the US and Europe. This year, the Ryder Cup is being staged in Paris, France, at the Le Golf National course–a course that puts a premium on driving accuracy. Staging the cup at Le Golf National is truly a home court advantage for the European team, since the American tour (and the American team) is loaded with guys who can hit it a ton, while the European team is a bit more subtle and relies on accuracy. Hmmm.
The Ryder Cup started in 1927 and was originally a contest only between the United States and a team composed of golfers from Great Britain and Ireland. But…American dominance was so strong after the Second World War that to even the playing field, in 1979, new boundaries were set and it became the U.S. vs. Europe. The change brought in talented world class golfers like Spain’s Seve Ballesteros and Antonio Garrido.
Since 1979, the Europeans have won the cup 10 times, the Americans 8, with one cup event ending in a tie. Although the Cup is contested by professional golfers, they are not paid for their participation–a very refreshing bit of sportsmanship in this day and age–and in recent years, the Cup has become a very passionate, nationalistic contest between the U.S. and Europe. The last Ryder Cup event was staged in the U.S. at Hazeltine (the U.S. won 17-11). The Ryder Cup is interesting not just because it’s America vs. Europe, but also because of the scoring (match play) and the three day format (foursomes, fourballs, singles) staged over a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday schedule.
The first two days of play (Friday and Saturday) are developed to foursomes and fourball matches; the last day (Sunday) is singles. Each match one equals one point. The winning team is the one with the most points.
For more background and to follow the matches, please see our links and references, below:
Direct Link to Ryder Cup Scoreboard
Direct Link to Official Ryder Cup Site
The Ryder Cup: Background and History (Wikipedia)
2018 Ryder Cup overview(ESPN)
America and the Ryder Cup (New York Times)
The Big Game Atmosphere of the Ryder Cup ( New York Times)
Players to Watch at the Ryder Cup
The French and the Ryder Cup
French Coverage of the Ryder Cup
L’Equipe (French sports newspaper)
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