The Ryder Cup format can be explained in a simple way, it is a team event rather than just individual golfers competing against each other. The simplest way to understand the scoring is that the United States and Europe will earn points for each match. These points are added to each team’s total. There are a total of 28 points awarded, and the winning side needs at least 14 1/2 to win.
This is where it gets a bit more complicated. There is not a typical leaderboard where golfers are jockeying for position. There are a number of different formats used, including fourball and foursomes. Here’s how the Ryder Cup describes the scoring.
Each match is worth one point, with matches ending in a draw worth 1/2 point to each side. The first team to reach 14 ½ points (of the 28 points available) wins the Ryder Cup. If the matches end in a 14-14 draw, the team holding the Ryder Cup retains it. The United States team is the defending champion headed into the 2018 Ryder Cup.
The three days of the matches consist of 28 total matches, each of which is 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).
This week, leaderboard is traded for a scoreboard as USA takes on Europe.
What Is the Difference Between Fourball & Foursomes?
You may have heard fourball referred to by a more common name: best ball. Two players team up and the better ball is played for each stroke. A foursome involves two golfers (we know, it’s confusing), alternating shots playing the same ball. There are a total of four golfers if you include both teams playing, just in case you are wondering about the name. Golf Channel provides a detailed explanation on the difference between the two.
Fourball format: In the fourball format, two players make up a team and play a better-ball against the other team. When playing this format, it is critical that the more accurate driver hits first. This usually means the shorter of the two would get his ball in play, allowing the longer hitter to play more aggressively off the tee…
Foursomes is the most challenging format for any player or team captain. Foursomes is sometimes called alternate shot, which gives you a better idea of how the format is played. Two golfers play one ball, alternating between shots. Here you must factor in the strengths of a player and even the type of golf ball that’s being used.
Source: Heavy Sports