Ryder Cup - 2020

by Dave jordan on September 23, 2021

The Course

Officially opened in 1998 and designed by Pete Dye, Whistling Straits is somewhat based on the links courses of the UK and Ireland and is sculpted along 3 kilometres of the Lake Michigan shoreline. Whistling Straits is open to the elements and features large undulating greens, deep pot bunkers and winds that sweep off Lake Michigan.

Date: 24 - 26 September, 2021
Course: Whistling Straits Sheboygan County, Wisconsin
Length: 6,575 meters
Par: 71
Slope Rating: 152

Click Here for a full hole by hole overview 

The Format

The Ryder Cup is played over three days and consists of 28 total matches, each of which is worth one point. There are no extra holes in Ryder Cup matches. Should the two sides be tied after 18 holes, each side earns a half point.

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, in this case Europe.


Day 1
1 morning session and 1 afternoon session consisting of 4 Fourball matches and 4 Foursomes matches

Day 2
1 morning session and 1 afternoon session consisting of 4 Fourball matches and 4 Foursomes matches

Day 3
12 Singles matches


Four-Ball
In four-ball, 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.

Foursomes
In foursomes, each two-man team plays one ball per hole with the players taking turns until each hole is complete. Players alternate hitting tee shots, with one leading off on odd-numbered holes, and the other hitting first on even-numbered holes. The team with the low score on each hole wins that hole. If their scores are tied, the hole is halved.

Singles
In singles, each match features one player from each team. The player with the lower score on each hole wins that hole. If their scores are tied, the hole is halved.

Scoring
Each match is worth one point, with matches ending in a tie worth ½ point to each side. The first team to reach 14 ½ points wins the Ryder Cup. If the matches end in a 14-14 tie, the team holding the Ryder Cup retains it.

Our Thoughts

Winner: Europe
There is no question the United States deserve favouritism. They are on home turf and Whistling Straits will certainly suit the big-hitting Americans more. The form of some of the European players is also a concern. What we do know though is that Europe have performed significantly better than the more well-fancied Americans this century, winning seven of the nine Cups including two of four on American soil, most recently the ‘Miracle at Medinah in 2012. Europe have also managed to get far more invested as a team while the Americans remain a collection of individuals. Cultural change is certainly underway at Team USA but it will take time and the Koepka/DeChambeau feud has hung over the team leading in. 

Top European Scorer: Rory McIlroy
Rory has certainly shown a liking for Whistling Straits and it certainly appears as if it will suit his eye. Distance from the tee is a big advantage here and it has helped with Rory coming 3rd and 17th in two starts here. He has two Top 4s in his last five starts so his form is on the up. 

Top USA Scorer: Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas was the star of the American team in Paris with a 4-1 record and is again set to be America’s rock. He is set to be paired with good friend Jordan Spieth (who finished 2nd here in the 2015 PGA Championship) and looks almost certain to be rolled out in that situation in all four sessions, bar any early disaster. Thomas will get the opportunities and the stability of his pairing makes him our pick for top USA scorer

Top Rookie: Viktor Hovland
Form off the tee is going to be so important at Whistling Straits so jumping on European rookie Viktor Hovland to have a massive Ryder Cup. Hovland ranked fifth last year in Strokes Gained: Off The Tee. He has spent most of the year in the US, a major plus. The Norwegian has four Top 17 finishes in his last seven starts.

Top Wildcard: Jordan Spieth
Spieth finished second here at the 2015 PGA Championship and has come off a rejuvenated season where he was back in the winner’s circle and genuinely contended in some big tournaments this year. He has a 7-5-2 record but is 0-3 in singles. He will score in team play and just needs to find something in the singles.

The Teams

USA
Captain
Steve Stricker
Age 54
Ryder Cups Three (2008, 2010, 2012)

Daniel Berger
Age 28
Ryder Cups Rookie
World ranking 16

Patrick Cantlay
Age 29
Ryder Cups Rookie
World ranking 4

Bryson DeChambeau
Age 28
Ryder Cups One (2018)
Overall record P3, W0, L3, H0
Foursomes W0, L2, H0
Fourballs W0, L0, H0
Singles W0, L1, H0
World ranking 7

Harris English
Age 32
Ryder Cups Rookie
World ranking 11

Tony Finau
Age 32
Ryder Cups One (2018)
Overall record P3, W2, L1, H0
Foursomes W0, L0, H0
Fourballs W1, L1, H0
Singles W1, L0, H0
World ranking 9

Dustin Johnson
Age 37
Ryder Cups Four (2010, 2012, 2016, 2018)
Overall record P16, W7, L9, H0
Foursomes W1, L3, H0
Fourballs W3, L5, H0
Singles W3, L1, H0
World ranking 2

Brooks Koepka
Age 31
Ryder Cups Two (2016, 2018)
Overall record P8, W4, L3, H1
Foursomes W1, L1, H0
Fourballs W2, L2, H0
Singles W1, L0, H1
World ranking 10

Collin Morikawa
Age 24
Ryder Cups Rookie
World ranking 3

Xander Schauffele
Age 27
Ryder Cups Rookie
World ranking 5

Scottie Scheffler
Age 25
Ryder Cups Rookie
World ranking 21

Jordan Spieth
Age 28
Ryder Cups Three (2014, 2016, 2018)
Overall record P14, W7, L5, H2
Foursomes W2, L1, H2
Fourballs W5, L1, H0
Singles W0, L3, H0
World ranking 13

Justin Thomas
Age 28
Ryder Cups One (2018)
Overall record P5, W4, L1, H0
Foursomes W1, L1, H0
Fourballs W2, L0, H0
Singles W1, L0, H0
World ranking 6

Europe
Captain
Padraig Harrington
Age 50
Ryder Cups Six (1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010)

Paul Casey
Age 44
Ryder Cups Four (2004, 2006, 2008, 2018)
Overall record P12, W4, L3, H5
Foursomes W1, L1, H0
Fourballs W2, L1, H3
Singles W1, L1, H2
World ranking 24

Matthew Fitzpatrick
Age 27
Ryder Cups One (2016)
Overall record P2, W0, L2, H0
Foursomes W0, L1, H0
Fourballs W0, L0, H0
Singles W0, L1, H0
World ranking 27

Tommy Fleetwood
Age 30
Ryder Cups One (2018)
Overall record P5, W4, L1, H0
Foursomes W2, L0, H0
Fourballs W2, L0, H0
Singles W0, L1, H0
World ranking 37

Sergio Garcia
Age 41
Ryder Cups Nine (1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018)
Overall record P41, W22, L12, H7
Foursomes W10, L4, H3
Fourballs W8, L4, H3
Singles W4, L4, H1
World ranking 43

Tyrrell Hatton
Age 29
Ryder Cups One (2018)
Overall record P3, W1, L2, H0
Foursomes W0, L0, H0
Fourballs W1, L1, H0
Singles W0, L1, H0
World ranking 19

Viktor Hovland
Age 24
Ryder Cups Rookie
World ranking 14

Shane Lowry
Age 34
Ryder Cups Rookie
World ranking 42

Rory McIlroy
Age 32
Ryder Cups Five (2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018)
Overall record P24, W11, L9, H4
Foursomes W5, L4, H1
Fourballs W4, L3, H2
Singles W2, L2, H1
World ranking 15

Ian Poulter
Age 45
Ryder Cups Six (2004, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2018)
Overall record P22, W14, L6, H2
Foursomes W5, L2, H0
Fourballs W4, L4, H1
Singles W5, L0, H1
World ranking 50

Jon Rahm
Age 26
Ryder Cups One (2018)
Overall record P3, W1, L2, H0
Foursomes W0, L0, H0
Fourballs W0, L2, H0
Singles W1, L0, H0
World ranking 1

Lee Westwood
Age 48
Ryder Cups Ten (1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016)
Overall record P44, W20, L18, H6
Foursomes W9, L5, H4
Fourballs W8, L6, H2
Singles W3, L7, H0
World ranking 35

Bernd Wiesberger
Age 35
Ryder Cups Rookie
World ranking 63
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