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USA looking to retain Ryder Cup and win on European soil for the first time in 30 years

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The Ryder Cup is back and the United States' best golfers are across the Atlantic and ready to square off with Europe's best with international bragging rights up for grabs.

The 44th Ryder Cup will be held at the Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome, Italy. 

Ryder Cup 2023 Year to Go Media Event - Day Two
ROME, ITALY - OCTOBER 03: The Ryder Cup trophy is seen on the 9th green during the Ryder Cup 2023 Year to Go Media Event at Marco Simone Golf Club on October 03, 2022 in Rome, . / Getty Images

Team USA

World #1 player Scottie Scheffler led the way in qualification points, followed by reigning U.S. Open winner Wyndham Clark, reigning Open Championship winner Brian Harman, and big earners on tour consisting of Patrick Cantlay, Max Homa, and Xander Schauffele.

Late last month, USA Captain Zach Johnson announced that the American's team had been finalized when he announced his six captains picks. 

Johnson would pick reigning PGA Champion Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa, Sam Burns, Rickie Fowler, and Justin Thomas to found out the American's team of twelve. 

Freedom Flow

Koepka and Burns unveiled last week that they have their hair cut into mullets for the tournament. 

Team Europe

While the Americans are packing some heavy hitters for the trip to Rome, the European side of the competition is packing plenty of heat as well.

Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, and Viktor Hovland were the first three players to qualify for the team. Robert MacIntyre, Tyrrell Hatton, and Matt Fitzpatrick joined the initial three as qualifers.

Captain Luke Donald rounded out his squad with selecting Ludvig Aberg, Tommy Fleetwood, Sepp Straka, Justin Rose, Shane Lowry, and Nicolai Hojgaard.

Europe's dominant stretch on home soil

When play starts this weekend, the Americans will be looking to end a long stretch of losing when playing across the pond in Europe. 

The Europeans have won six straight Ryder Cups on home soil in Europe, including a dominant showing at Le Golf National in France in 2018, beating the Americans 17 & 1/2 to 10 & 1/2.

The Americans bounced back with their own dominant showing at Whistling Straits two years ago, but will be up against a tall task in front of a ferocious crowd in Rome. 

The format of the Ryder Cup

With both teams consisting of 12 players, the Ryder Cup will be contested over a series of foursomes, four-ball, and singles match play over a three-day tournament. 

On Friday, the tournament will get underway in the morning with foursome matches with each player on each team taking alternate shots. In the afternoon, four-ball matches will be played where the players play their own ball and the better player's score counts for the team score. 

Saturday's play will follow the same format and Sunday's play will consist of 12 singles matches. 

How to win the Ryder Cup

On Friday, there will be 4 four-ball matches and 4 foursomes matches. Each will be worth one point for a total of 8 points up for grabs.  On Saturday, there will be 4 four-ball matches and 4 foursomes matches. Each will be worth one point for a total of 8 points up for grabs.   

On Sunday, 12 points will be up for grabs from the singles matches for a total of 28 points in the tournament.

For the Europeans to win the Ryder Cup, they must win a total of 14 & 1/2 or more points. For the Americans to retain the Ryder Cup, they must win a total of 14 or more points.

Ryder Cup TV schedule

With the Ryder Cup being played in Rome, it's going require some overnight or early mornings for American golf fans, with the first play on Friday getting underway at 1:30 a.m. on the East coast.

The afternoon sessions will be a little easier to watch, with 5:30 a.m. start times on the East coast. 

Sunday's singles matches will start one hour later at 6:30 a.m. 

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