Is It Time To Change The Ryder Cup Format?


It’s crazy to think the opening session of the Ryder Cup is still two days away. Yes, it’s been delayed a year due to the coronavirus outbreak, but this week alone has felt like a lifetime. 

Interview after interview has come and gone, fuelling constant talk about potential pairings, team dynamics, first-tee nerves, fan impact, etc, etc. 

Wouldn’t it be better if there was less talk and more action? Just because something is the way it’s always been, does that necessarily mean it’s the best?

One alternative doing the rounds is to mix things up at the Ryder Cup and employ the format used at the Presidents Cup. 

In the other biennial contest between America and the rest of the world, the action is spread out across four days, featuring five matches on days one and two, two Ryder Cup-style sessions on day three, and 12 final-day singles, as has become customary. 

Not only would this would give fans more golf to watch and players more chance to feature, but it would also give everyone involved with the event more potential to rest. 

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It would also free up additional time should any inclement weather cause unexpected delays – particularly applicable when the tournament is held in Europe. 

On paper, it sounds like a win-win scenario, although there will undoubtedly be an army of naysayers. 

The 2019 Presidents Cup was especially brilliant to watch. Team captains Ernie Els and Tiger Woods renewed their rivalry, albeit in a slightly different capacity than we got used to seeing in the late ’90s/early 2000s, with their teams putting on a show across four spectacular days at Royal Melbourne.

Five matches were played on Thursday and Friday – fourballs then foursomes respectively – before there were four of each played on Saturday and a singles showdown on Sunday.

It made for compelling viewing and cut out a lot of the faff that comes in the build-up. Plus, as was tweeted above, it’s arguably golf’s most exciting event and is only held every two years, so wouldn’t it be better for everybody to prolong the on-course action for as long as possible?

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