What are fourballs? Ryder Cup format explained ahead of 2021 competition

There are three different formats played at the Ryder Cup

Sarah Rendell
Monday 20 September 2021 11:48
<p>Padraig Harrington will lead Team Europe at the Ryder Cup</p>

Padraig Harrington will lead Team Europe at the Ryder Cup

The Ryder Cup begins on 24 September and concludes just two days later and Team Europe will be aiming to retain their title after they won in 2018.

The competition was postponed a year due to the pandemic but the stage is now set at the Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, USA for the biennial event.

Team Europe captain Padraig Harrington has emphasised what a win would mean to him. He told The Guardian: “The Ryder Cup impacts my legacy. My ego is attached to my golf and there is no question the Ryder Cup will have an effect on that.

“Being a losing captain could definitely have an effect on who I feel I am. That’s something that would have to be dealt with.”

Harrington’s side will have to play in different formats at the Ryder Cup, namely fourballs, foursomes and singles matches. But what is the fourball and who is in Harrington’s team? Here is all you need to know.

What are fourballs?

A two-man Europe team will go up against a two-man USA team and each member will play his own ball meaning there are four balls in play on every hole.

Each team records the lower of its two scores on each hole and the team whose player has the lowest score wins the hole. In the event of a tie, the hole is halved.

What is the schedule? (All times are in BST)

Friday, 24 September:

Foursome: 1:05pm, 1:21pm, 1:37pm, 1:53pm

Fourball: 6:10pm, 6:26pm, 6:42pm, 6:58pm

Saturday, 25 September:

Foursome: 1:05pm, 1:21pm, 1:37pm, 1:53pm

Fourball: 6:10pm, 6:26pm, 6:42pm, 6:58pm

Sunday, 26 September:

Singles matches: Starts at 5:04pm, then games follow at 11-minute intervals

Who is in each team?

Team USA: Steve Stricker (captain), Collin Morikawa, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay, Daniel Berger, Harris English, Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Spieth.

Team Europe: Padraig Harrington (captain), Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Bernd Wiesberger, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Paul Casey, Matt Fitzpatrick, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Shane Lowry, Ian Poulter.


Team USA - 8/15

Team Europe - 5/2

Draw - 12/1

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