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2021 Ryder Cup: TV Times, Scoring, Format, How it Works, Rosters, History

Here's a quick guide to the 2021 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, which returns to the United States for the first time since 2016.

The United States Ryder Cup team and captain Steve Stricker will host the 2021 Ryder Cup Sept. 20-26 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin against the European team captained by Padraig Harrington.

This is the 43rd playing of the Ryder Cup, which was originally scheduled for 2020 but was delayed by a year because of the pandemic. 

Here are answers to some of the most-often asked questions around the team event, including scoring and format, TV times, how players make the squads and more.

When is the 2021 Ryder Cup?

The matches in the 2021 Ryder Cup start Friday, Sept. 24, and finish on Sunday, Sept. 26. There is plenty of hoopla before then, of course, including practice rounds and the opening ceremonies. That is often when the captains will announce their pairings for the next day, like Davis Love III and Darren Clarke did here in 2016:

What Is the Ryder Cup? 

The Ryder Cup is a competition between a team from the United States and one from Europe that is played every other year, usually. The 2020 Ryder Cup was postponed because of the pandemic. The first Ryder Cup was played in 1927. The competition has been in its modern format since 1979 and features both fourball and foursome matches on Friday and Saturday and singles matches on Sunday. Fourball means every player plays his ball and posts a score. Lowest score wins a hole. Foursomes feature alternating shots, lowest score wins the hole.

Where is the 2021 Ryder Cup?

The 2021 Ryder Cup is at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wisc., about 15 minutes north of Sheboyan. The location of the Ryder Cup alternates between Europe and the United States. The 2018 Ryder Cup was at Le Golf National outside Paris, France. The most recent Ryder Cup in the United States was at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., in 2016. The 2023 Ryder Cup will be in Rome, Italy. The 2025 event will be at Bethpage Black in New York.

When is the 2021 Ryder Cup opening ceremony?

The opening ceremony is from 4 to 5 p.m. Central on Thursday, Sept. 23. You can read the entire schedule of events here.

What is the schedule of matches for the 2021 Ryder Cup?

All times are Central and may change based on weather or other delays.

Friday, Sept. 24: Morning foursome matches will be begin at 7:05, 7:21, 7:37 and 7:53 a.m. Afternoon fourball matches will be at 12:10, 12:26, 12:42 and 12:58 p.m. 

Saturday, Sept. 25: Morning foursome matches will be at 7:05, 7:21, 7:37 and 7:53 a.m. Afternoon fourball matches are scheduled for 12:10, 12:26, 12:42 and 12:58 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 26: Singles matches will tee off every 11 minutes from 11:04 to 1:05 p.m.

The trophy presentation will be at approximately 5 p.m. on the 18th green.

What is the TV schedule for the 2021 Ryder Cup?

This is the TV schedule for the 2021 Ryder Cup. All times are Central. You can watch all Ryder Cup matches on the Golf Channel and NBC. The first day is foursomes and fourball from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, on the Golf Channel. 

The second day is foursome and fourballs from 7 to 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept, 25, on the Golf Channel and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on NBC. 

The final day of 12 singles matches is from 11 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 26, on NBC.

Friday, Sept. 24: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the Golf Channel

Saturday, Sept. 25: 7 to 8 a.m. on the Golf Channel and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on NBC.

Sunday, Sept. 26: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on NBC

How are the Ryder Cup teams made?

The 2021 U.S. Team is made up of the top six in the points rankings with six captain's picks. These are the American players who qualified automatically:

Collin Morikawa
Dustin Johnson
Bryson DeChambeau
Brooks Koepka
Justin Thomas
Patrick Cantlay

These are the captain's picks Steve Stricker announced Sept. 8:

Tony Finau
Xander Schauffele 
Jordan Spieth
Harris English
Scottie Scheffler
Daniel Berger 

Because the Ryder Cup was postponed, points American players earned in 2019 were included with the ones earned in 2020 and 2021. Players earned points based on money won in major championships, WGC events and regular PGA Tour events.

The European Team will be made up of the first four players from the Ryder Cup European Points List on Sept. 12, followed by the leading five players from the Ryder Cup World Points List. Captain Padraig Harrington made his three captain's picks Sept. 12 when he added Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia and Shane Lowry.

Who's on the 2021 American Ryder Cup roster?

1. Collin Morikawa (rookie)

2. Dustin Johnson (2010, 2012, 2016, 2018, 2021)

3. Bryson DeChambeau (2018)

4. Brooks Koepka (2016, 2018, 2021)

5. Justin Thomas (2018, 2021)

6. Patrick Cantlay (rookie)

7. Tony Finau (2018, 2021)

8. Xander Schauffele (rookie)

9. Jordan Spieth (2014, 2016, 2018, 2021)

10. Harris English (rookie)

11. Scottie Scheffler (rookie)

12. Daniel Berger (rookie)

Who's on the 2021 European Ryder Cup team?

1. Jon Rahm (2018, 2021)

2. Rory McIlroy (2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2021)

3. Tommy Fleetwood (2018, 2021)

4. Viktor Hovland (rookie)

5. Paul Casey (2004, 2006, 2008, 2018, 2021)

6. Lee Westwood (1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012,2014,2016, 2021)

7. Bernd Wiesberger (rookie)

8. Matt Fitzpatrick (2016, 2021)

9. Tyrrell Hatton (2018, 2021)

10. Ian Poulter (1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2021)

11. Shane Lowry (rookie)

12. Sergio Garcia (1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2021

What is the format of Ryder Cup matches?

The first two days of competition feature fourball and foursomes matches. The order is determined by the home captain. The third day consists of 12 singles matches.

  • In fourball, 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.
  • In 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.
  • In 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.

How does a team win the Ryder Cup?

The first team to reach 14 ½ points wins the Ryder Cup. If the matches end in a 14-14 tie, the team holding the Ryder Cup retains it. The European team is the defending champion and will retain the cup if the matches at Whistling Straits end in a tie.

Each match is worth one point. Ties are worth a 1/2-point to each side. 

The three days of the matches consist of 28 total matches, each of which is worth one point. There are no playoffs in Ryder Cup matches. Ties result in a half point for each time.

Past results of the Ryder Cup

The American team leads in victories, 26-14. 

Year, Site, Score, Score, Winner

2018, Le Golf National, 17 ½,-10 ½, Europe

2016, Hazeltine National GC, 17-11, USA

2014, Gleneagles Resort, 16 ½,-11 ½, Europe

2012, Medinah CC, 14 ½-13 ½, Europe

2010, Celtic Manor Resort, 14 ½-13 ½, Europe

2008, Valhalla Golf Club, 16 ½-11 ½, USA

2006, The K Club, Straffan, 18 ½-9 ½, Europe

2004, Oakland Hills CC, 18 ½-9 ½, Europe

2002, The Belfry, 15½-12 ½, Europe

1999, The Country Club, 14 ½-13 ½, USA

1997, Valderrama GC, 14 ½-13 ½, Europe

1995, Oak Hill CC, 14 ½- 13 ½, Europe

1993, The Belfry, 15-13, USA

1991, The Ocean Course, 14 ½-13 ½, USA

1989, The Belfry, 14-14, Europe

1987, Muirfield Village GC, 15-13, Europe

1985, The Belfry, 16 ½-11 ½, Europe

1983, PGA National GC, 14 ½-13 ½, USA

1981, Walton Health GC, 18 ½-9 ½, USA

1979, The Greenbrier, 17-11, USA

1977, Royal Lytham & St. Annes, 12 ½-7 ½, USA

1975, Laurel Valley GC, 21-11, USA

1973, Muirfield, 19-13,USA

1971, Old Warson CC, 18 ½-13 ½, USA

1969, Royal Birkdale GC, 16-16, Great Britain

1967, Champions GC, 23 ½-8 ½, USA

1965, Royal Birkdale GC, 19 ½-12 ½, USA

1963, East Lake CC, 23-9, USA

1961, Royal Lytham & St. Annes, 14 ½-9 ½, USA

1959, Eldorado CC, 8 ½-3 ½, USA

1957, Lindrick GC, 7½-4½, Great Britain

1955, Thunderbird CC, 8-4, USA

1953, Wentworth GC, 6 ½-5 ½, USA

1951, Pinehurst CC, 9 ½-2 ½, USA

1949, Ganton GC, 7-5, USA

1947, Portland Golf Club, 11-1, USA

1937, Southport & Ainsdale GC, 8-4, USA

1935, Ridgewood CC, 9-3, USA

1933, Southport & Ainsdale GC, 6½-5½, Great Britain

1931, Scioto CC, 9-3, USA

1929, Moortown GC, 7-5, Great Britain

1927, Worcester CC, 9-½, 2-½, USA