The Ryder Cup, the biennial team event pitting the United States against a European coalition, has a roller coaster history of results. The Americans dominated the competition for half a century, losing just three matches from 1927 to 1983. The last two decades, however, have been a different tale. The Europeans have won eight of the last 10 matches, with many of those victories coming in blowout fashion. The United States was so embarrassed by the outcome in 2014 that a "task force" was constructed to combat these woes, in hopes of bringing back the cup in 2016.
This year's event is held at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota. The Ryder Cup is a three day event consisting of 28 matches. Each match is worth a point; to retain the cup, the Europeans need 14 points, with the Americans requiring 14.5 points to capture the trophy. The matches are broken down as such:
-- FRIDAY: Four morning foursomes (alternate-shot) matches followed by four afternoon four-ball (better-ball) matches.
-- SATURDAY: Four morning foursomes matches followed by four afternoon four-ball matches.
-- SUNDAY: 12 singles matches.
Each team has 12 players, and is led by a captain and a host of assistants.