The 2021 Ryder Cup format has been announced for the 43rd edition of the event, which is the PGA of America and European Tour-owned biennial event pitting 12-man teams against each other, to be played at Whistling Straits Golf Resort in Kohler, Wis.
The Ryder Cup field consists of two 12-person teams. The American team is captained by Steve Stricker, with the Europeans led by Padraig Harrington.
For the American team, the top six players on the Ryder Cup points list qualified automatically. Steve Stricker had six captain's picks, with the selection format changed in 2020 in hopes of still holding the event in its originally intended year.
For the European team, the top four players on the European Ryder Cup points list qualified automatically, along with the top five available European Tour players in the Official World Golf Ranking not inside that top four. Padraig Harrington had three captain's picks.
The Ryder Cup format is a three-day event with 28 total matches that start on Friday.
On Friday and Saturday, there are two four-match session each day.
On both days, one session of four matches is played as fourball, also known as best ball. The other session of matches is played as foursomes, also known as alternate shot.
Foursomes is also called alternate shot. On each hole, one player (Player A) from each team hits their team's respective tee shots. Then the other player (Player B) from each team hits the second shot. Then the third shot is hit by Player A, and so on, until the ball is holed. The teams compare scores, and the team with the lower score wins the hole. Whichever team wins the most holes wins the match.
Fourball is also called best ball. On each hole, all four players play out the hole using their own ball, just like they were playing individually. At the end of each hole, each team uses the better score of the two partners and compares it to the other team. The team with the better score wins the hole. Whichever team wins the most holes wins the match.
On Sunday, there will be 12 singles matches. Players compete against each other one-on-one, and the player to win the most holes wins the match.
Each match is worth 1 point toward the total. If a match is tied after 18 holes, the match is halved, and both teams earn 0.5 points toward their tally. The first team to earn 14.5 points will win the Ryder Cup. In the event of a tie after 28 matches, the match ends in a tie and the Europeans retain the cup.
The players on the winning and losing teams do not earn money.