It has been called the best team the United States has ever sent out, but the same has been said about the European side.

What happens remains to be seen, but there is one thing for sure – this year’s 42nd Ryder Cup is  arguably the most anticipated in Cup in history.

This year’s event takes place in Paris at Le Golf National.

Of course, if you want to watch the matches, you’ll have no choice but to adopt a vampire living style, sleeping during the days and staying up all night.

Plenty will choose to watch the replay’s, but I have always had a tough time watching a sporting event where I know the results before I watch it. It takes away from the suspense of watching live.

Here are the times for the matches: Friday morning (Thursday late night on the West Coast) tee times are 11:10 p.m., 11:25 p.m., 11:40 p.m. and 11:55 p.m. The afternoon matches in Paris are scheduled at 4:50 a.m., 5:05 a.m., 5:20 a.m., 5:35 a.m. West Coast time.

Saturday (late Friday) matches will follow with the same time schedule, with the 12 singles matches going off around 3 a.m. PDT Sunday morning.

There are three different formats in the team competition, each of which is match-play.

In Four-Ball, each of the four golfers play their own ball, with each team taking the best score of their pair. In this, pairing two players together who can fire off birdies – they can also rack up bogeys – is always a solid pairing.

Foursomes may be better known as “Alternate shot” where the players alternate shots on one ball. Hitting the fairway off the tee is the key to this event. Groups are often decided by who wants to tee off the odd number holes and who wants the even holes.

Finally, there is Singles, where every golfer squares off against someone from the other side in a head-to-head, match-play contest.

In the past, the Americans on paper have usually been favored, but have fallen to what was perceived as less talented European teams. The favorite excuse has always been that the Euro’s were a closer group as opposed to the Americans that while talented, maybe all didn’t get along, or at the very least, seldom ran in the same social circles.

That ship has sailed.

Thanks in large part to the young guns such as Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth, who vacation together, the United States boasts a group that loves to spend time together. The camaraderie that was once missing from the United States team is there.

Even older adversaries such as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, have mended fences over the years and now could almost be considered friends. Okay, that might be a stretch, but they are at least friendly.

Over the course of the year I have been pumped for this event, thinking the United States would come out and crush the European side. That could happen, but the closer we have gotten to the Cup, the better and better the European side has gotten.

There are stars at every spot for the Europeans. With players like Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Tommy Fleetwood, John Rahm and Ian Poulter, Europe boasts more household names to the casual American golf fan.

Check back here for a preview of the opening matches and thoughts throughout what promises to be a thrilling Ryder Cup!

 

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