UPDATED WITH EXAMPLE LINEUPS:


DRAFTKINGS FRIDAY SHOWDOWN GPP:

CAPTAIN - Patrick Cantlay

G - Rickie Fowler

G - Jon Rahm (Pivot: Rory McIlory)

G - Xander Schauffele (Pivot: Tommy Fleetwood)

G - Jordan Spieth

G - Sepp Straka

Welcome to one of the best weeks on the golf calendar, the Ryder Cup.  Nothing gets people going more excited than pitting the United States against another country in athletic competition.  That’s why people love the Olympics.  This weekend the best golfers in the United States will battle against the best golfers from across Europe for what is known as the Ryder Cup.

History  

The Ryder Cup started in 1927 and has taken place every two years with the United States claiming victory 27 times and the Europeans 14.  The Americans are the defending champions after a dominant victory in 2021 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. Since 1985, the Europeans have owned this competition going 11-6-1 and winning four of the last six.

Format

The United States is captained by Zach Johnson while Luke Donald gets the honor for the European team.  Each team has 12 golfers and the team captain chooses who plays in what matches and with whom.  Friday and Saturday work the exact same way, four four-ball matches and four foursomes matches.  Sunday is 12 single matches to decide the winner.  

Four-ball is where each member of the two-man team plays his own ball.  The lowest score of the four players wins the hole for their team, if there is a tie, the hole is halved.  The team with the most holes won at the end of the round earns a point for their team.  If they end in a tie, each team is given half of a point.

Foursomes is where each two-man team plays one ball per hole with the teammates alternating shots until the hole is done.  The players will alternate tee shots with one teeing off first on the odd-numbered holes and one teeing off first on the even-numbered holes.  The team with the lowest score on the hole wins, unless it is a tie and then it is halved.  The team with the most holes won at the end of the round earns a point for their team.  If they end in a tie, each team is given half of a point.

The single matches are regular one-on-one match play rounds.  The player who wins the most holes, wins a point for his team.

Over the three days of competition there are 28 total matches and each one is worth one point.  If a match is tied at the end of the 18 holes each team is given half of a point.  To win the Ryder Cup, a team must collect 14 ½ of the 28 points available.  If they end in a 14-14 tie, the defending champion would keep the cup.

Atmosphere

This is a fantastic event with so much good spirited competition between the players and the fans.  The fans are what make the Ryder Cup great because they are loud, proud and in your face throughout the weekend.  You’ll hear tons of cheers, boos, and ovations.  It’s another one of those rare events in golf where everyone kinda lets their hair down and has a good time.

Location

The host course for this event is Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Guidonia Montecelio which is located in the northeast corner of Rome. It is named after the castle of Marco Simone which was built approximately 1,000 years ago. The castle and land were bought in the 1970s by Italian high fashion designer Laura Biagiotti and her husband Gianni Cigna who restored and lived there for years. The golf course was built in the late 80s and hosted the Italian Open four times including 2023. Adrian Meronk won that tournament with an aggregate score of 271. 

The course is a Par 71 and reaches 7,181 yards. While the track is not long, there is a punishing rough that these players must avoid for success. The width of the fairways range between 18 and 26 yards across. It also features 76 bunkers which are evenly distributed between the fairways and greens. We will see greens on the larger side which will make it easier for these golfers to land.

Match-Up

This is one of the most evenly matched Ryder Cup’s we’ve seen in years. The Vegas odds even have this at nearly a dead heat. The last time I checked, it was +110 for the United States and +115 for the Europeans. Both teams feature a mixture of fantastic experienced golfers with young talented players. We were worried going into 2021 with the inexperience of the United States team but it didn’t matter in their 19-9 victory. There are three American rookies; Max Homa, Brian Harman and Wyndham Clark. We will see four European rookies; Nicolai Hojgaard, Robert Macintyre, Ludvig Aberg, and Sepp Straka.  

DFS Format

The DFS game will be unique to say the least.  They are doing it showdown style with a captain’s spot but it’ll take place over the course of the weekend.  The captain will use 1.5x the standard fantasy point value for each statistic, streak or bonus.  How to score:

Holes Won: +3 points

Holes Halved: +0.75 points 

Holes Lost: -0.75 points

Hole Not Played: +1.6 Points (That means if your golfer wins their match before 18 holes, you get points for those holes not played)

Matches Won: +5 points

Matches Halved: +2 points

Streak of 3 Consecutive Holes Won in the Match (Max 1 Per Round): +5 points

No Holes Lost in Match Bonus: +7.5

We will find out on Thursday morning at 10 a.m. ET who the captains have paired together and who they will face in the opening session on Friday morning.  When picking your players this weekend, just know there is a chance that your golfer may not play all five possible rounds.  The captain can choose to play a golfer only one round in a day or not at all.  That will be the biggest challenge of the weekend.  Here are my predictions for the Friday Foursomes: 

UNITED STATES:

Xander Schauffele & Patrick Cantlay

Justin Thomas & Jordan Spieth

Brooks Koepka & Brian Harman

Dustin Johnson & Daniel Berger

Scottie Scheffler & Sam Burns

EUROPE:

Rory McIlory & Matt Fitzpatrick

Viktor Hovland & Ludvig Aberg

Jon Rahm & Tommy Fleetwood

Shane Lowry & Sepp Straka

I will update this article with example lineups after the pairings are announced at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday morning. Keep an eye out for it!

Good Luck!