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Ryder Cup 2021: Teams, Schedule, Players to Watch & More

The wait is almost over as the 43rd Ryder Cup is due to take place upon the stunning layout at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. With both the American and European sides ready to do battle in what promises to be a truly gargantuan tussle, here at Hole19 HQ we can't wait for the play to get underway.

Last year's massive 17.5 - 10.5 win for Thomas Bjorn and his team at Le Golf National in Paris Hazeltine National saw Europe regain the most coveted prize in men's team golf. Now with 7 of the past 10 Ryder Cups going the way of the 'boys in blue', can Steve Stricker restore some much needed pride for Team USA?

The Venue

Whistling Straits is one of the true masterpieces in golf and was created by the world-renowned course designer Pete Dye. Ranked at #3 in Golf Digest’s 2019/2020 America's 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses, its open, rugged and windswept terrain plays alongside a two mile stretch of Lake Michigan's shoreline.

The course's official yardage for this year's Ryder Cup stretches to 7,390 yards - but this is a full 400 yards shorter than its maximum length.

Potential match-swinging holes are aplenty upon the Straits, however the par-4 13th looks the most likely to trouble both teams. With a landing area sat high above the green, and a sheer drop off the right, drama seems inevitable on this short, fiddly hole.

The par-3 7th will also test the two dozen players to their limits. Highlighted pre-tournament as the hole with the biggest disaster potential, the threat of Lake Michigan looms large down the entire right side.

The Schedule (times are BST)

Friday, September 24

  • - Morning: Fourballs (1.05pm)
  • - Afternoon: Foursomes (6.10pm)

Saturday, September 25

  • - Morning: Fourballs (1.05pm)
  • - Afternoon: Foursomes (6.10pm)

Sunday, September 30

  • - Afternoon: Singles (5.05pm)

Meet The Teams

Team Europe

The Captain: Padraig Harrington

The Players: Paul Casey, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia, Tyrrell Hatton, Viktor Hovland, Shane Lowry, Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter, Jon Rahm, Lee Westwood, Bernd Wiesberger

Team USA

The Captain: Steve Stricker

The Players: Daniel Berger, Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, Harris English, Tony Finau, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele, Scottie Scheffler, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas

Players to Watch

Jon Rahm follows up on his debut appearance at Le Golf National by arriving in Wisconsin as world number one. Despite losing his two fourballs back in 2018, he was involved in a ding-dong singles battle with a certain Tiger Woods. Rahm finally prevailed on the 17th hole to win 2&1 and set the home crowd wild.

Collin Morikawa is making his Ryder Cup debut this week and will be a formidable foe for the Europeans. He was an amateur back in 2018 and since then has won two majors, one WGC and finished at the top of the US Ryder Cup qualification standings.

Ian Poulter is a must watch for the Europeans. 'The Postman always delivers' as the saying goes, and we will be keen to see if Poults can tap into his love of all things Ryder Cup and play the golf we all know he can. If so, he could be one of the keys to Europe retaining the Ryder Cup.

Justin Thomas became the first US golfer since 1995 to earn his side four points when he did so at the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris. Can he claim a similar haul this week? We can't wait to find out.

Sergio Garcia was widely expected to receive a call-up from Captain Harrington, and the wildcard pick duly arrived.  The Spaniard is the highest total points scorer in the history of the event, and displays all the passion and experience you could ever wish to see from a Ryder Cup stalwart.

Patrick Cantlay deserves a mention too. He's been the standout consistent performer on the PGA Tour in the past few months, and pipped Jon Rahm at the Tour Championship to pocket a cool $15M.  

Team USA Worthy Favourites?

Steve Stricker's American side have the obvious upper hand when it comes to world ranking positions.  Their average of 8.16 is far healthier than the 30.8 of Team Europe, though that is rarely a reliable yardstick when measuring the likelihood of success.

The walloping they endured at the hands of a relentless European side in Paris may provide much-needed added inspiration. What's pretty clear is that Captain Stricker needs to galvanise the squad and create a greater amount of team spirit than in previous years.

It might be a bit of a stretch to expect Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka to be high-fiving eachother, though.

Beware The Underdog

There are plenty of reasons for European optimism, not least the weight of history that sits firmly in their favour.

Also, despite the inclusion of three rookies in Padraig Harrington's side, there's plenty of experience shared out amongst the remaining nine players.

Who Wins It?

Honestly, we've no idea. Team USA are likely good value for their position as pre-tournament favourites, but it's been shown many times before that the form book goes out the window in matchplay contests. The 2021 Ryder Cup could go either way and we're excited to watch play get underway.

Who do you think will win the 2021 Ryder Cup?  What about your key players on each side?  Let us know in the comments.

Oh, and don't miss our brand-new Ryder Cup competition

DON'T MISS your chance to represent either Team Europe or Team USA in our largest-ever Ryder Cup competition. Log your rounds on the Hole19 app during the three days of play to help your team.

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