The Ryder cup is one of the biggest events in golf, and happens every two years. It is a competition between the Americans and the Europeans. It is a team competition, that means a ton to all of the players. They are playing for their country, not for money. On the American side, this years competitors have earned a total of about 51 million dollars just in the 2016 season alone. Despite there being no cash prize for winning, all of the golfers aspire to play in the Ryder cup, and represent their country. Each team is made up of twelve players, and a captain. There can also be assistant captains on the team. For the American side, the first eight players are picked based off of fed ex cup standings, which are based off of their performance throughout the year in other tournaments. The other four players are picked by the captain. For the Europeans, five players are selected based on the European tour as of August 22, Four more are selected as of August 28, and the final three are picked by the captain. The three formats are four ball, foursome, and singles. During the four ball format, there are foursomes made up of two two man teams. Each player plays their own ball, and the lowest score of each team takes the lowest of their two scores on the hole, and the team with the lowest score wins a point. If the scores are the same, the hole is halved. The next format is the foursome format. In this format, each two man team plays one ball, and alternates who takes each shot. One person tees off on the odd numbered holes, and the other tees off one the even numbered holes. The lowest score wins the hole, and again if there is a tie the hole is halved. The final format is the singles format, and is often most looked forward too. In this format, it is a one-on-one match play, which means you get a point for winning the hole, no matter how many strokes you win by. In the other two formats, not all members of the team plays, but in the singles, everybody is involved. This competition often will bring out the best in golfers, because of the fierce head to head competition.
During the 2016 Ryder cup, the U.S.A. team beat Europe 17-11 breaking the six year losing streak. The competition was fierce throughout the three days, but what really stood out was the sportsmanship shown between the two teams. A great example of this is what happened on the par three eighth hole between Patrick Reed, and Rory Mcilroy. Both of them had put their tee shot on the green, but both had a sizable putt for birdie. Rory had about a 55 foot putt, miraculously Rory drained the putt, silencing the screaming American fans. That left Reed a 22 foot putt to halve the hole. Reed took his time lining up his putt, looking at the break from all different angles. Finally, the moment of truth came. Reed stepped up to his putt, and knocked it down, causing a huge roar from the crowd. The two players shook each other’s hands walking off the green, showing that despite the pressure of playing for the country, they still had sportsmanship throughout the tournament.
Another showing of sportsmanship were in the fans, and the interactions between the fans and the players. This years Ryder cup was held in America, so the majority of the fans were cheering on the American team. There was a lot of heckling and booing, but that is the norm at these kind of events. As usual, there were some people going over the top, and some had to be removed. Some of the player fan interactions actually began before the Ryder cup actually started, in a practice round. During the practice round, American fan Dave Johnson was heckling Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose after they both missed the same putt. Stenson heard Johnson in the crowd, and called him out betting he could not make the putt, on top of that, Justin Rose put a hundred dollar bill down next to the ball, adding to the bet. Shocking everybody, Johnson actually made the putt. Johnson could have been a jerk about it and rubbed it in, but he actually turned down the hundred dollar bill. Stenson and Rose shook his hand, and insisted he take it, both of them signing the bill before giving it to them.
All in all, this years Ryder cup was an amazing one, From Reed’s and Mcilroy’s battle during the opening match of the Sunday singles, to the fans being called out by the players, this year’s Ryder Cup had it all, and has everybody anxious and excited about the upcoming Ryder cup in 2018.