News & ToursOctober 1, 2010

Schedule altered in attempt to finish Sunday

NEWPORT, Wales -- A Sunday finish to the Ryder Cup may still be plausible after all.

Officials have unveiled a new schedule that factors in Friday's extended rain delay but still allows for 28 points to be played for by Sunday night. In the new scenario, the opening four-ball session will be followed on Saturday by six foursomes matches.

A third session would comprise two foursomes and four four-ball matches, followed by the customary 12 singles matches.

If the weather cooperates -- a significant "if" given another dreary forecast for Sunday -- the Ryder Cup would be completed Sunday night.

Officials said both captains agreed to the format change.

The revised schedule helps to restore order to what has been a chaotic start to the competition, but it also significantly alters that competition as well. Deciding who plays and who sits has always been one of the most integral parts of a captain's job. Now, with all 12 players set to play the next three sessions, that element is eliminated.

"The unique flavor of the Ryder Cup, of this particular format, is the four players, top players, have to sit out each session, and it won't surprise you to know that nobody likes sitting out.  They all want to play all the time. So we felt this was a way to keep the 28 points, keep it on track," said George O'Grady, CEO of the European Tour. "Yes, you lose that little bit of four people sitting it out, and the fact that not one player wanted to sit out, they all took this without huge convincing.  We spoke to the captains, and they wanted to speak to their own teams and vice captains, and they were pretty good.  They can see it is a slight change of the schedule, but we preserve 28 points.  We have got a chance to get it in."

-- *Sam Weinman *

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