Ryder Cup, the infinite duel that the world likes. Europe has the numbers to beat the US

To the Old Continent 7 of the last 10 editions. Two teams of 12, it is played one on one and each hole one point. It starts with the Spaniards Garcia / Rahm against Spieth / Thomas

In the Ryder Cup, golf becomes epic and legendary. The two-year challenge between Europe and the United States, which from today celebrates its 43rd edition at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, has never lacked a good dose of drama and competitive spirit since it was born almost a century ago, in 1927, to settle an issue which at that time troubled those who frequented the salons of New York and London: who plays golf better, American or English? Obviously, given the size of the two countries, the balance took little to tilt towards the… “wrong” side of the ocean. So from 1979, alongside the British, Europeans from the continent were also admitted. And the challenges became more balanced. Indeed, more and more in favor of us who have won seven of the last ten editions. But why is Ryder so important and captivating? Why is it watched in 800 million homes around the world, the third global televised event after the Olympics and the World Cup?

Il match play

To begin with, because you play match play, that is, you don’t count the shots taken in general, but it matters to win every single hole. Does it change a lot compared to the usual golf? Everything is almost another sport. In a normal tournament the challenge is against all the other players, wherever they are on the pitch, which means that the confrontation is practically against themselves: I play at my best and I can’t care for others. On the other hand, in match play only who is with you counts. It’s a one-on-one duel, psychology also comes into play, the pressure changes, it’s much easier to get nervous and make blatant mistakes. Whoever closes the hole with the least number of strokes wins one point, and the next one goes. It is also the reason why it is not mandatory to go all the way: has my opponent already pocketed with the fourth shot and I still have to shoot the fifth? I don’t, I pick up the ball and think about the next hole. Does my opponent have a 4 hole lead and only three holes are missing? It’s over, we can say goodbye and go to the locker room. To cry or rejoice, it depends on the result.

The formula

The two teams consist of 12 golfers. Qualified by right or chosen directly by the two captains. This year the European Padraig Harrington had nine “obliged” and three of his choice; the American Stricker six and six. Because everyone decides the selection criteria and the others cannot dispute. Do they all play? No, on Fridays and Saturdays it is played in pairs: two Europeans against two Americans. Foursome, which means that each pair has only one ball and alternates in shots or Fourballs, that is, everyone plays his ball and in the end the best score is scored. Eight on the field in the morning and eight on the field in the afternoon. In theory, someone could stand and watch for two days. Twelve single matches on Sunday: finally it’s up to everyone. The captains have the delicate task of choosing who to put together: in Paris three years ago Thomas Bjorn paired Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood who won all 4 of their games. Chicco then demolished Phil Mickelson in the Sunday single. Five points and European triumph.

Old and novice

Europe is a beautiful mix of experience and youth. There are Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia who add up, together, 25 participations and 18 Ryder won. Of the twelve Americans, only three have already raised the cup at least once. It is true that to read the names there seems to be no comparison, in their team there are 8 of the top ten of the world rankings, but Ryder is an ugly beast and the thrill of feeling the weight of an entire country on his shoulders while he has to post. the last putt is different from what it feels like to have to think only of yourself. We are better at teaming up. And we have more fun. Instead, they argue more often and isolate themselves in the hotel. Individualists against group. USA-Europe is also this.

Italian style

There are no Italian golfers, but our presence will not be lacking anyway. The European team will once again be dressed by Loro Piana: the uniforms, created in collaboration with the captain, Padraig Harrington, will accompany the athletes and their entourage in all official engagements, on and off the golf course. “As captain, I want players to feel as comfortable as possible during Ryder week and Loro Piana Piana clothing is an integral part of that,” said Harrington.

Meanwhile, the captains have announced the couples who will compete in today’s first Foursome matches (Italian times):

Ore 14.05: Garcia/Rahm – Spieth/Thomas

14.21: Casey / Hovland –Johnson / Morikawa

14.37: Westwood / Fitzpatrick – Berger / Koepka

14.53: McIlroy/Poulter – Cantlay/Shauffele

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Ryder Cup, the infinite duel that the world likes. Europe has the numbers to beat the US