Every two years, 24 of the best players from Europe and the United States compete against each other in match play competition at the Ryder Cup. There's no prize money at stake. The only thing the winning team receives is the trophy and the honor of being Ryder Cup champions.
This year, the Ryder Cup takes place at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome, Italy, from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1. Here are a few fun facts about the prestigious event.
- The Ryder Cup trophy is made out of gold, stands 17 inches tall, measures 9 inches from handle to handle, and weighs 4 pounds. It was commissioned by the event’s founder, Samual Ryder in 1927 for the first official contest. The trophy is valued at more than $600,000.
- The figure of the golfer on the lid of the trophy is Abe Mitchell, a British professional golfer who was a friend and golf instructor of Samuel Ryder. Mitchell played in 3 Ryder Cup competitions.
- The Professional Golfers Association (PGA) of Great Britain and Ireland owns the original Ryder Cup trophy. It is kept at their headquarters in Great Britain and is not given to the winning team.
- The PGA of America owns an exact replica of the trophy. Another identical copy is used for promotional purposes. Members of the winning team each receive a slightly scaled-down replica of the trophy to keep.
- The first formal Ryder Cup match was held in 1927 at Worcester Country Club in Worcester, Massachusetts and was won by the USA. In the 43 times that the Ryder Cup has been played, The USA has won 27 times and Europe has won 14 times. It ended in a draw twice, once in 1969 and once in 1989.
- Originally, the international opponents to the USA were only made up of players from Great Britain. In 1979, the team was opened to all of Europe to help make the matches more competitive. Since then, the European team has won the trophy 11 times compared to the USA's 9 victories.
- The ‘Captains Pick’ system was also introduced in 1979. For this year's Ryder Cup, both teams had six automatic qualification places and each captain had six captain’s picks to complete their teams of 12.
- There are 28 matches in total during the three-day competition including 8 Fourball matches, 8 Foursomes matches, and 12 Singles matches. The winner of each match receives 1 point for their team and if a match is halved each side receives 0.5 points. A team needs to reach 14.5 points to win the trophy outright. If the match score is tied at 14-14 then the current holders of the trophy retain it.
- Prior to the singles matches, each captain is required to submit a sealed envelope with the name of one of his players that he would pull out of the competition in the event of an injury withdrawal from the opposing team. Both players would be awarded half a point.
We’re looking forward to a great match this year!