The 2014
Ryder Cup

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The 2014 Ryder Cup returns to the site of it's origin and host at Gleneagles in Perthshire Scotland - the site of the first matches taking place there in 1921 between what was then a British team of golfers vs. a USA Team of golfers. That first event was named the International Challenge and was the first time that a format like this of professional golfers from both sides of the pond were pitted against each other in an official team event format. 

Those first International Challenge Matches at Gleneagles pitting a USA vs. International golfers set the tone for the very first official Ryder Cup Matches which began 6 years later and played in Worchester MA in 1927.

So in May of 1921 the USA Team left New York harbour in the Aquitania (sister ship to the Lusitania which was later sunk by Hitler) - and played in this Ryder Cup forerunner after the long transit by sea to the British Isles and served also to provide a warmup for the US players coming over to play in the British Open Championship back then.  The matches began play on June 6th, 1921.

On that USA Team was the great Walter Hagen, Wild Bill Melhorn, as well as Jock Hutchinson & Freddie McCloud (both transplanted Scots).  The British Team had a plethora of stars led by James Braid, Harry Vardon, Ted Ray, George Duncan, and J.H. Taylor.  Those initial matches were won by Britain who defeated the USA Team in a rout of 10 & 1/2 to 4 & 1/2.

The British also won the International Challenge in 1926 at Worchester Ma.  Samuel Ryder a seed merchant who traded from St. Albans Hertferdshire U.K. and who took up playing the game of golf after 50 had attended the matches in 1926 that were played at the Wentworth Golf Club in Surrey, England.  Upon Ryder's influence there after The Ryder Cup Matches became an official competition and Ryder donated the trophy now known as the 'Ryder Cup'.

This year's 40th edition of the Ryder Cup will have Tom Watson captaining the USA Team and The European Team will be captained by Paul McGinley.  The Euro's pulled off a big comeback at Medinah equivalent to what the US Team did in '99 at The Country Club.  They will be defending the Cup which was wrestled away from the dominant Euro's in 2010 at Valhalla.  

A foursomes match is a competition between two teams of two golfers. The golfers on the same team take alternate shots throughout the match, with the same ball. Each hole is won by the team that completes the hole in the fewest shots.

The matches take place over three days, Friday through Sunday. On the Friday, there are four four ball matches and four foursomes matches in the afternoon. On the Saturday, the same schedule repeats. On the Sunday, there are twelve singles matches. 

Not all players need play on Friday and Saturday; the captain can select any eight players for each of the four rounds of play over these two days. 

The winning team is determined by cumulative total points. Under Ryder Cup rules, the defending champion team from the previous games only needs to halve the cumulative point totals to retain the Cup, while the opposing team must win it outright.

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