2012 Ryder Cup format and rules: foursomes, fourballs and points

Andrew Redington - Getty Images

The 2012 Ryder Cup is contested a bit differently than your average golf tournament, with foursomes, fourballs, and the winner being determined by points, not strokes.

The 2012 Ryder Cup begins Friday, and with international teams competing the format and rules are a bit different than your average PGA golf tournament. Here's a quick rundown of foursomes, fourballs, and everything else you need to know to enjoy the Ryder Cup.

Day 1 of the event, will feature four foursome alternate shot matches in the morning and four fourball matches in the afternoon. In the foursome matches two two-man teams will be paired up, and each team will alternate shots between men on each hole, as well as trade off which man tees off from hole to hole. The first man tees off, the second man takes the next shot, then the first man again, until the hole is complete. In a fourball match, two two-man teams compete with each golfer playing his own ball, and the team's score is the lower team member's score.

Saturday is the same format as Friday, with four foursome matches and four fourball matches.

Sunday is a more standard format, with 12 singles matches taking place.

Each match is worth one point, making 28 total points available. 14-1/2 points are needed to win the cup, and in the event of a 14-14 tie the cup is retained by the defending champions. In this year's tournament, that would be Europe.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Atlanta

You must be a member of SB Nation Atlanta to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Atlanta. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Atlanta

You must be a member of SB Nation Atlanta to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Atlanta. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.