Ryder Cup 2021: When does it start, who is in Team Europe and Team USA, how to watch and competiton format

The Ryder Cup returns this weekend as Team Europe seek to retain their crown at Whistling Straits.

TEAM EUROPE: The reigning champions head to the USA. Picture: Getty Images.

The competition was postponed by a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is only the second time the competition has been deferred with the first postponement coming in 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Europe have won four of the last five events, with America's sole win in that time coming in 2016 at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota. Team Europe won last time out in 2018 as they lifted the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in Paris.

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When does it start and how can I watch?

CAPTAIN: Padraig Harrington of Ireland poses with the Ryder Cup. Picture: Getty Images.

The Ryder Cup gets underway on Friday, September 24 and finishes on Sunday, September 26. It will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Golf in the UK.

Who are in the teams?

Team Europe will be captained by three-time major champion Pádraig Harrington while Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell are the vice captains. The trio were part of the team that won the Ryder Cup in 2010 at Celtic Manor Resort in Wales. McDowell and Kaymer were also part of the successful 2012 side who staged the iconic Miracle at Medinah as Europe sparked a remarkable comeback to retain the Ryder Cup.

The 12-strong Team Europe line-up has been finalised with: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland, Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Fitzpatrick, Lee Westwood, Bernd Wiesberger, Sergio Garcia, Shane Lowry and Ian Poulter all heading stateside.

USA are captained Steve Stricker and he has selected: Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Cantlay, Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Harris English, Daniel Berger and Scottie Scheffler in his 12-strong line-up.

What is the format?

The action starts with the foursomes and four-balls on Friday and Saturday and ends with a full round of singles matches on Sunday.

Every match is worth one point while each team picks up half a point for a drawn match. It is possible to end the weekend with the sides level at 14-14 each and in that scenario the current holders - Europe - would retain the trophy. For an outright win, 14.5 points is enough for either team.

A foursome match allows just one ball per team with pairs alternating shots of the ball. In a four-ball match, each player has their own ball with the best score from each team going towards the final total.

The singles matches involve one player from each team going head-to-head. A round is won based on which team or player wins the most holes as opposed to who ends up with the lowest score.

Friday, September 24

Morning Matches (Foursome): 1:05pm, 1:21pm, 1:37pm, 1:53pm

Afternoon Matches (Fourball): 6:10pm, 6:26pm, 6:42pm, 6:58pm

Saturday, September 25

Morning Matches (Foursome): 1:05pm, 1:21pm, 1:37pm, 1:53pm

Afternoon Matches (Fourball): 6:10pm, 6:26pm, 6:42pm, 6:58pm

Sunday, September 26

Singles matches: First match at 5:04pm, then at 11-minute intervals

Odds

USA are the current favourites with most bookmakers pricing them at around 8/15 while Europe are 5/2 to win a fifth Ryder Cup from the last six events. A draw is 12/1.