Ryder Cup 2021: Ryder Cup format explained, Whistling Straits schedule & times

Don't blame you if you've forgotten how it all works.


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The captains are in place and the teams have been named… it’s finally time for the Ryder Cup!

Can Team Europe defend the trophy won in France three years ago or will Team USA claw back their pride and the golden gong?


The Ryder Cup 2021 takes place over three days between Friday September 24 and Sunday September 26 and golf fans on the other side of the pond are no doubt gearing up to shout ‘get in the hole!’ at Whistling Straits.

Whether you’re a golf newbie or you just can’t remember how the Ryder Cup works as so much has happened since 2018, you’ll find an explanation of the format and the schedule for this year’s competition below.


Let’s not beat about the bush here, the Ryder Cup has a pretty straightforward format to understand. There are a total of 28 matches taking place over the three days, and with each being worth a point to the victor or half a point if it’s a tie, whichever team reaches 14½ points claims the cup. If the scores are level at 14-14 by the end of play then the previous winners retain the trophy.

There are four foursome and four fourball matches on Friday and Saturday before 12 singles matches to round things off on Sunday.

Friday (Day 1): Four foursome matches & four fourball matches
Saturday (Day 2): Four foursome matches & four fourball matches
Sunday (Day 3): 12 singles matches

What is a foursome match? A pair of golfers on the same team take alternate shots until the hole is completed and it’s played under the match play system. That means the team with the best score on each hole wins the hole.

And a fourball? It’s a two-man team once again but they both play their own ball. The lowest score on each team is counted and the team with the lower score wins the hole. It’s also scored using the match play system – just like the singles on Sunday.


You’re probably thinking that’s a hell of a lot of golf to squeeze in to three days. Luckily, the schedulers have thought this through and cooked up the following tee times to ensure it goes off without a hitch.

Friday foursomes: 1.05pm, 1.21pm, 1.37pm and 1.53pm
Friday fourballs: 6.10pm, 6.26pm, 6.42pm and 6.58pm
Saturday foursomes: 1.05pm, 1.21pm, 1.37pm and 1.53pm
Saturday fourballs: 6.10pm, 6.26pm, 6.42pm and 6.58pm
Sunday singles: 5.04pm, 5.15pm, 5.26pm, 5.37pm, 5.48pm, 5.59pm, 6.10pm, 6.21pm, 6.32pm, 6.43pm, 6.54pm and 7.05pm


Team USA are the favourites in Paddy’s Ryder Cup 2021 betting market to win the trophy back from Europe.

Why? Well, the host team have won six of the last seven editions of the competition, with the Miracle at Medinah in 2012 being the exception. There’s no place like home…

USA – 8/15
Europe – 9/4
Tie – 11/1

You’ll find an absolute lorryload of betting markets for the Ryder Cup 2021 at paddypower.com/golf/the-ryder-cup-2021.



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