The Ryder Cup is back after a three-year absence as some of the best players in the world head to Whistling Straights for Europe against the USA.
Europe have dominated the past decade of the matchplay tournament and won the last edition at Le Golf National in France in 2018, but the USA were the victors the last time they hosted the competition two years earlier at Hazeltine.
The Ryder Cup was postponed last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the USA have won the majority of the majors since then, with Collin Morikawa, Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson all winning majors over the past two seasons and a number of other players enjoying consistent form on the PGA Tour.
The hosts are favourites to reclaim the Ryder Cup by Europe are boosted by world No 1 John Rahm, who won his first major at the US Open in June, as well as the returning Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood and Ian Poulter - who were all crucial to the team’s win last time out.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the 2021 Ryder Cup.
When is it?
The competition will tee off on Friday 24 September and conclude on Sunday 26 September. This year’s edition will see the Ryder Cup take place in the USA, at Whistling Straits, Haven, Wisconsin.
How can I watch it?
The Ryder Cup will be shown live on Sky Sports Main Event in the UK, beginning with the opening foursomes at 1pm BST on Friday 24 September. If you’re not a Sky customer you can grab a NOWTV Day Pass here to watch without a subscription.
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Captain Padraig Harrington has confirmed his 12-man as: Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Bernd Wiesberger, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Paul Casey, Matt Fitzpatrick, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Shane Lowry and Ian Poulter.
Rahm, Fleetwood, Hatton and Wiesberger qualified for the team through the European points list. McIlroy, Hovland, Casey, Fitzpatrick and Westwood all came through the World points list while Garcia, Lowry and Poulter were all captain’s choices.
Harrington left out Justin Rose and he said it was a difficult decision to make: “It was incredibly difficult with JR. Clearly he was in contention in his last two events.
“Did I need more? Maybe not but the fact of the matter is, with who he was going up against, the consistency of Shane Lowry, the heart of the team has been Ian and Sergio over the years, somebody had to lose out.”
Skipper Steve Stricker has unveiled his 2021 squad as: 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.
Morikawa, Johnson, DeChambeau, Koepka, Thomas and Cantlay were all automatic qualifiers and Berger, English, Finau, Schauffele, Scheffler and Spieth are all captain’s picks.
USA - 8/15
Tie - 11/1
Europe - 15/8
USA are undoubtedly boast the strongest team on paper, featuring a number of major champions in Collin Morikawa, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth and players who are arguably coming off the best season of their careers, such as Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele and Tony Finau.
Questions remain over the USA’s team spirit, which was the big talking point following their 2018 defeat at Le Golf National, and Europe have shown in recent years that their collective has been greater than the sum of their individual parts.
It’s still hard to look past a USA victory, however, who look set to reclaim the Ryder Cup on home soil.
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