The Ryder Cup is a men’s golf competition held biennially between teams from the USA and Europe. Administered jointly by the PGA of America and the PGA European Tour, its venue is alternated between golf courses in Europe and USA. The 2014 Ryder Cup is going to be played out on the PGA Centenary Course at the Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland, about an hour’s drive from Edinburgh, between the 23rd and 28th of September, 2014.
The 2014 Ryder Cup is the 40th cup in the series since the first official matches took place in 1927. It is also the second time that it’s going to be held in Scotland; the first time was at Muirfield in 1973. The last Ryder Cup, held in Medinah, Illinois, was won by Europe by 14½ points to 13½ having overturned a four-point deficit going into the final day’s play, so they will be entering the contest as the cup holders.
Here are some important facts about this year’s Ryder Cup at Gleneagles:
- The PGA Centenary Course: Gleneagles was designed by Jack Nicklaus, an American who is widely regarded as the most accomplished golfer of all time. The Gleneagles Hotel, which owns the course, is currently undergoing a US$ 30 million redevelopment program, partly in preparation for the 2014 Ryder Cup.
- The European Team: The European team will have 4 leading players qualifying from the Ryder Cup European Points List, 5 leading players qualified from the Ryder Cup World Points List and 3 leading players picked by the captain. This time, the Captain’s pick, to be announced in September 2014, has been increased to 3 from 2 and the number of players qualifying from the European points, to be announced after the Italian Open scheduled for August 31, 2014, has been decreased to 4 from 5.
- The American Team: The American team will have 3 leading players picked by the captain and 9 leading players qualifying from the points gained from money earned in major tournaments and the official 2014 PGA Tour. Each $1,000 earns a player one point. The list of 9 players is going to be announced after the PGA Championship which will take place on August 10, 2014. The captain’s pick is scheduled to be announced on September 2, 2014.
- Team captains: The USA team captain is Tom Watson, who at 65 is the oldest captain in Ryder Cup history. The European team captain is Paul McGinley, who is the first ever Irishman to captain the team.
- Competition format: The 2014 Ryder Cup is a match play event and each match is worth one point. Day 1 (Friday), there will be 4 foursomes (alternate shots) matches and 4 fourball (better ball) matches. On Day 2 (Saturday), there will be 4 foursome matches and 4 fourball matches. On the final day, Day 3, there will be 12 single matches. On the first two days, the home captain will choose which matches to play in the morning and which to play in the afternoon. All matches will be played to a maximum of 18 holes.
- Winning points: There will be a total of 28 points available and a team must get 14½ to win the Cup. However, since there are only two teams, the defending champions can retain the Cup with 14 points.
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