The Ryder Cup returns this weekend after a Covid-enforced delay, and we’ve got everything you need to know about golf’s greatest team event.

Whether you’re a golfing nut or a complete beginner, the Ryder Cup offers drama for everyone as the Europe and the USA’s best go head-to-head over three days.

This is everything you need to know about the event.

What is the Ryder Cup?

The Ryder Cup is played between the USA and Europe over three days. Two teams of 12 golfers compete biennially to win the Ryder Cup.

Created by Samuel Ryder in 1927, the tournament was originally between the US and a team of Great Britain and Ireland. It was expanded in 1979 to allow players from continental Europe to take part.

This year’s event is the 43rd edition of the tournament.

It was originally due to be played last year, but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was the second time the tournament has been delayed, after the 2001 edition was pushed back to 2002 following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

How is the Ryder Cup won?

The three days of the Ryder Cup consists of 28 total matches, each of which is worth one point.

On the first two days, golfers compete with a teammate in either foursomes or fourball sessions.

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. The team with the low score on each hole wins that hole. If their scores are tied, the hole is halved.

Then on Sunday, all 12 players compete in singles matches against a member of the other team. The player with the lower score on each hole wins that hole. If their scores are tied, the hole is halved.

Each match is worth one point, with matches ending in a tie worth 0.5 points to each side.

HeraldScotland: Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson (right) celebrate winning the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Paris in 2018. Credit: PAJustin Rose and Henrik Stenson (right) celebrate winning the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Paris in 2018. Credit: PA

To win the Ryder Cup outright, a team must collect 14 ½ of the 28 points available.

In the case of a 14-14 tie, the winning team from the previous Ryder Cup retains the trophy - this year that would be Europe.

When is the Ryder Cup?

The Ryder Cup will begin with the opening ceremony at on Thursday, September 23, before the golf begins on Friday with the morning foursomes. Below is the full weekend schedule for the Ryder Cup, with tee times for every match.

Thursday:

Opening ceremony, 10pm - 11pm

Friday:

Morning foursome - 1.05pm, 1.21pm, 1.37pm, 1.53pm

Afternoon fourball - 6.10pm, 6.26pm, 6.42pm, 6.58pm

Saturday:

Morning foursome - 1.05pm, 1.21pm, 1.37pm, 1.53pm

Afternoon fourball - 6.10pm, 6.26pm, 6.42pm, 6.58pm

Sunday:

Singles, 5.04pm - 7.05pm (11 minute intervals)

Meet the Teams

Team USA

The US team is made up of six automatic qualifiers and six captain picks.

Captain and Vice-captains:

  • Steve Stricker, Captain
  • Fred Couples, Vice-captain
  • Jim Furyk, Vice-captain
  • Zach Johnson, Vice-captain
  • Davis Love III, Vice-captain
  • Phil Mickelson, Vice-captain

Players:

  • Justin Thomas, automatic
  • Collin Morikawa, automatic
  • Bryson DeChambeau, automatic
  • Dustin Johnson, automatic
  • Brooks Koepka, automatic
  • Patrick Cantlay, automatic
  • Tony Finau, captain’s pick
  • Xander Schauffele, captain’s pick
  • Jordan Spieth, captain’s pick
  • Harris English, captain’s pick
  • Daniel Berger, captain’s pick
  • Scottie Scheffler, captain’s pick

Team Europe

Nine players qualified automatically for Team Europe, with four coming from the European Points List and five from the World Points List. Captain Padraig Harrington made three picks to complete his 12-man team.

HeraldScotland: European captain Padraig Harrington. Credit: PAEuropean captain Padraig Harrington. Credit: PA

Captain and Vice-captains:

  • Padraig Harrington, Captain
  • Luke Donald, Vice-captain
  • Robert Karlsson, Vice-captain
  • Martin Kaymer, Vice-captain
  • Graeme McDowell, Vice-captain
  • Henrik Stenson, Vice-captain

Players:

  • Paul Casey (England), automatic
  • Matt Fitzpatrick (England), automatic
  • Tommy Fleetwood (England), automatic
  • Tyrrell Hatton (England), automatic
  • Viktor Hovland (Norway), automatic
  • Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland), automatic
  • Jon Rahm (Spain), automatic
  • Lee Westwood (England), automatic
  • Bernd Wiesberger (Austria), automatic
  • Sergio Garcia (Spain), captain’s pick
  • Shane Lowry (Republic of Ireland), captain’s pick
  • Ian Poulter (England), captain’s pick

HeraldScotland: Ryder Cup legend Ian Poulter was selected as a captain's pick for the 2021 edition. Credit: PARyder Cup legend Ian Poulter was selected as a captain's pick for the 2021 edition. Credit: PA

Where is the Ryder Cup being played?

The 2021 edition of the Ryder Cup is being played at Whistling Straits, in Wisconsin.

The tournament alternates each edition between Europe and the USA. 

With the 2018 version being played in Paris, it is the turn of the US to host.

Whistling Straits has hosted three PGA Championships (2004, 2010, 2015), and the golf course, in Sheboygan County, has also played host to the US Seniors Open in 2007.

How to watch the Ryder Cup

Sky Sports has the rights to the Ryder Cup. Round-the-clock coverage throughout tournament week will be available live on their dedicated Ryder Cup channel, with live shows every day from Wisconsin.

HeraldScotland: Team Europe's Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter celebrate winning the 2018 Ryder Cup. Credit: PA Team Europe's Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter celebrate winning the 2018 Ryder Cup. Credit: PA

All three tournament days will be live on Sky Sports Ryder Cup, as part of nearly 70 hours of live coverage during tournament week.

Extended highlights of the previous day’s play will be available the following morning throughout the tournament.