At the 44th edition of golf’s biennial team tournament in Rome on Friday, the world No. 1 spearheads the charge to remedy his country’s 30-year bout of travel sickness.
Despite dishing out an emphatic 19-9 victory at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin two years ago, Team USA arrive at Marco Simone Golf Club in the knowledge they have not returned across the Atlantic with the cup in hand since 1993, when Tom Watson oversaw a 15-13 win over Bernard Gallacher’s European side at The Belfry in Warwickshire.
For US captain Zach Johnson, it’s an opportunity to stop the rot, while for European counterpart Luke Donald, revenge is in the air.
How to watch
Promising “one of the most sophisticated broadcast operations in Ryder Cup history,” organizers have said the action is to be beamed to 201 countries across the globe.
On Friday and Saturday, US viewers can tune in via USA Network from 1:30 a.m. ET. At 3 a.m. ET Saturday coverage switches to NBC, which will also be broadcasting Sunday’s decisive singles matches from 5:30 a.m.
UK audiences can follow the action on Sky Sports Golf, which begins coverage at 6 a.m. BST Friday and Saturday before starting at 9 a.m. BST Sunday.
Fans in selected regions will also be able to watch featured groups live on the Ryder Cup website and app.
For more information on how to watch, check the Ryder Cup website here.
No surprises here if you caught the Solheim Cup last week, where Europe retained the trophy after a pulsating first-ever draw in Spain.
Two teams of 12 – six automatic qualifiers and six captain’s picks – battle across three days for a total of 28 points, with Friday and Saturday comprising foursomes and four-ball sessions.
Starting at 1:35 a.m. ET (6:35 a.m. BST), mornings are dedicated to foursome matches – also known as alternate shot – which sees two golfers team up to face off against an opposing pair, alternating hits of the same ball.
Each match at the tournament is worth one point, with the points halved in the event of a tie.
Four-ball games are held in the afternoon from 6:25 a.m. ET (11:25 a.m. BST), where a two vs. two format is again resumed, except each golfer plays their own ball.
The lowest score recorded by either player in the pair is the one registered for that hole, hence the format’s other name, four-ball better-ball (4BBB).
Sunday is a straight shoot-out of 12 singles matches, teeing off every 12 minutes from 5:35 a.m. ET (10:35 a.m. BST), where every member of the team is sent out to fight for decisive points.
The team with the most points wins. As defending champion, the United States would retain the cup in the event of a tie, though there has only ever been one draw since the Great British and Irish team became Team Europe in 1979 – a 14-14 stalemate at The Belfry in 1989.
Captain: Zach Johnson
Automatic qualifiers: Scottie Scheffler, Wyndham Clark, Brian Harman, Patrick Cantlay, Max Homa and Xander Schauffele
Captain’s picks: Sam Burns, Rickie Fowler, Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas
Captain: Luke Donald
Automatic qualifiers: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland, Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Fitzpatrick and Robert MacIntyre
Captain’s picks: Tommy Fleetwood, Sepp Straka, Shane Lowry, Justin Rose, Nicolai Højgaard and Ludvig Aberg