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18 Reasons To Watch The Ryder Cup This September

Team Blue or Team Red? Choose your colours and catch the 2016 Ryder Cup exclusively live on Sky Sports from 30 September.

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1. Team Europe vs Team USA is the best kind of rivalry.

These players all know each other from the tour, they're good mates, and, let's be honest, Europe/USA is hardly a storied rivalry like England/Australia or USA/Russia.

Yet, when the Ryder Cup rolls around every two years, it matters. And despite the "friendly" rivalry, never before have you (or the players!) wanted more to put one over on their intercontinental counterparts.

2. (Although, it hasn't always been that way.)

Back in 1999, it wasn't so friendly at the Battle of the Brookline. After trailing by a long way, the US team made a famous comeback, punctuated by an infamously premature celebration that left a sour taste in the mouth of the Europeans.

Thankfully, it's all been much more cordial in the years since!

3. The players receive no money for participating. It's entirely about the glory.

Yep. Even as one of golf's biggest events, there's no prize money. Instead, it's purely about the prestige (and fun!) of representing Team Europe or USA.

4. It's one of the rare times players get to really play against each other.

In major tournaments like the Masters and the US Open, golfers are essentially looking to post the highest score they can, hoping that'll be enough to top the leaderboard.

In this matchplay format, it doesn't matter how well you play. The only thing that matters is winning your matchup.

6. ...team spirit is just as important as talent. Perhaps even more so!

One of the biggest reasons for Europe's recent success has been its great chemistry, in contrast to the US team, which has struggled to bond at times.

Chemistry's a great equaliser at the Ryder Cup, with the competition often won and lost dependent on who the captains select to pair up.

7. The format's pretty easy to follow.

Both team have 12 golfers. On both Days 1 and 2, there are eight 2v2 matches as pairs from Team Europe and Team USA play 18 holes of golf.

Whichever team cards the lowest score wins a point for their team. If they draw, they each get half a point.

(Plus also, these matchup graphics are always the BEST.)

8. And the final day can change everything.

Courtesy of Sky Sports

This sets up Day 3, which is simply 12 1v1 matches with 12 points up for grabs. With all the golfers involved and out on the course together, it's thrilling to see the momentum swing back and forth throughout the afternoon.

9. Like the famous "Miracle at Medinah" in 2012...

(Or "Meltdown at Medinah", depending on your allegiance).

At the start of Day 3, the US led 10–6, needing just 4½ points from 12 to win the Ryder Cup. The Europeans then made an incredible comeback, taking eight wins, one draw, and just three losses, to retain in the cup in spectacular fashion.

10. And in 2010 too, when Europe took back the trophy on the final match.

This time, it was the Europeans who struggled to hold onto a final day lead. Originally being up 9½–6½, Team USA needed only a tie in the final matchup to retain the trophy, only for Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell to defeat Hunter Mahan at the death.

15. The fans get *really* into it.

Golf has a reputation for its etiquette, but much of that goes out the window at the Ryder Cup, where the fans can be as partisan as they like. Expect a big support for the USA this year!

16. As do the golfers!

No sport has struggled so mightily to perfect the high five like golf has, and the Ryder Cup seems to go all in on the delightfully naff celebrations.

(Like Boo Weekley's completely unprompted decision to ride his club down the fairway like a horse.)

17. It's a chance to see a "Team Europe" (while we still can)!

Golf is the only major sport with a high-profile competition that features a "Team Europe". In that respect, it's a genuinely unique sporting event.

All images courtesy of Sky Sports.

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