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Ryder Cup preview

>> How does the competition between the United States and Europe work?

Three formats will be used.

Foursomes (Friday and Saturday morning rounds): Two players from each team are paired to go head-to-head against two players from the other team. The two-man teams alternate shots on each hole, with one player teeing off on odd-numbered holes and his partner teeing off on the even holes. They alternate shots until the ball is in the hole.

Four ball (Friday and Saturday afternoon rounds): Each player on the two-man team plays his ball on each hole. The best score of the two is counted for the hole.

Singles (Sunday): A match play setup, with one American against one European. The best score on each hole wins the hole.

>> Qualification

United States: A point system determines the top eight players for the team. The points for this event were an accumulation of prize money earned in the 2011 major championships, money earned in 2012 official events from Jan. 1 to Aug. 12, money earned in 2012 major championships and money earned in events played opposite major championships and in World Golf Championships events. The team captain had four picks to round out the 12-player team.

Europe: The leading five players on the European Ryder Cup points list at the conclusion of the 2012 Johnnie Walker Championship were in. The top five players from the world points list not otherwise qualified also were in. In case of a tie, players were determined by higher world rankings. The team captain had two picks.

>> Medinah CC

The club near Chicago was founded in 1924. The course first hosted a major tournament in 1949, the U.S. Open. It also hosted the 1975 and 1990 U.S. Opens. In 1999 at Medinah, Tiger Woods won his first major, the PGA Championship, over Sergio Garcia. Woods returned in 2006 to win another PGA Championship. This is the first Ryder Cup the course has hosted.

>> United States Captain: Davis Love

Player Points Bio
Tiger Woods 6,014.184 This is Woods' seventh Ryder Cup (he missed 2008). His career record is 13-14-2. He has won three PGA tournaments this season.
Bubba Watson 5,815.054 The 2012 Masters champion is playing in his second Cup. He was 1-3 at Celtic Manor in 2010.
Jason Dufner 5,697.302 A Cup rookie, he has had a career year in 2012. He has won twice and lost in a playoff.
Keegan Bradley 5,551.206 He was the PGA Tour rookie of the year in 2011 and won the PGA Championship. He is a Cup rookie.
Webb Simpson 4,635.500 Yet another Cup rookie, he is the reigning U.S. Open champion.
Zach Johnson 4,491.544 He has a 3-3-1 record in two Cups. He has not been on a winning U.S. team.
Matt Kuchar 4,448.942 This is the second straight appearance for the player who won the Players Championship this season.
Phil Mickelson 4,233.108 This is his ninth straight Cup appearance. He is 11-17-6 all time.
Jim Furyk Captain's pick He is making his eighth straight appearance. His record is 8-15-4, and he does not have a tournament win since 2010.
Dustin Johnson Captain's pick He has played sparingly due to injury this season, but he did win the St. Jude Classic.
Brandt Snedeker Captain's pick The winner of the Tour Championship on Sunday, he was an easy choice. He also won the Farmer's Insurance Open this year.
Steve Stricker Captain's pick The 45-year-old veteran has played in the previous two Cups and has won at least once on the PGA Tour in the past four seasons.

>> Europe Captain: Jose Maria Olazabal

Player Bio
Rory McIlroy The No. 1-ranked golfer in the world is making his second Ryder Cup appearance. He is the 2012 PGA Championship winner.
Justin Rose He missed the 2010 Cup; he was 3-1 in 2008. He won the 2012 Cadillac Championship.
Paul Lawrie He played in the 1999 Cup and hadn't played since. He won the Qatar Masters and the European Tour's Johnnie Walker Championship this year.
Graeme McDowell He is making his third straight appearance. He is 4-2-2 all time.
Francesco Molinari This is his second Cup. He won the Spain Open this season.
Nicolas Colsaerts He is making his Cup debut. He had 10 top 10 finishes on the European Tour.
Luke Donald He played on the 2004, '06 and '10 teams, all wins for Europe. He is 8-2-1 overall, and he won the Transitions Championship at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor this year.
Sergio Garcia He is making his sixth appearance and first since 2008. He had consecutive wins in Europe in 2011 that solidified his spot on the team.
Martin Kaymer This is his second straight Cup. He had a big 2011 that included time at No. 1 in the world rankings for a few weeks.
Ian Poulter An impressive 8-3 in three previous Cups, he has never lost a singles match.
Lee Westwood This is his eighth Cup, most on the team. He is 16-11-6 all time.
Peter Hanson He has had a series of top five finishes on the European Tour in 2012 and also finished third at the Masters.

>> When/where: Friday-Sunday; Medinah Country Club, Medinah, Ill.

>> Par/length: 72; 7,658 yards

>> Defending champion: Europe

>> Overall record: U.S. leads 25-11-1. Europe has won four of the past five.

>> TV: Friday, 8 a.m. ESPN; Saturday, 9 a.m., Ch. 8; Sunday, noon, Ch. 8

Ryder Cup preview 09/26/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 10:37pm]
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