Ryder Cup 2018: Odds, Format and Scoring System Explained

One of the greatest events in the sporting calendar gets underway on Friday, as Team USA and Team Europe resume their biennial rivalry in the Ryder Cup.

Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose are among the players who be out on the course at Le Golf National in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, on the outskirts of Paris, in the 42nd edition of the tournament.

Who is the favorite?

According to Oddschecker, Team USA is slight favorite. Odds on the defending champions fluctuate between 5/6 (-120.00 in money line terms) with Bet365 and 4/5 (-125.00) with William Hill.

Team Europe, meanwhile, is 5/4 (+125.00) with most bookmakers and a draw is 12/1.

How does the Ryder Cup work?

The Ryder Cup consists of 28 matches played over three days, under three different types of match play—fourballs, foursomes and singles.

Fourball and foursome matches are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, while the 12 singles matches will take place on Sunday.

In the singles, each player from Team Europe plays against an opponent from Team USA, in what looks more like the kind of golf we see on the PGA Tour and at the majors.

Which players are taking part?

Team Europe and Team USA have 12 players and one non-playing captain—Thomas Bjørn for the former and Jim Furyk for for the latter—each.

World number 1 Justin Rose, four-time major winner Rory McIlroy and this year's Open Championship winner Francesco Molinari will all feature for Team Europe.

Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson are just some of the stars that will defend Team USA's colors.

Rory McIlroy of Europe tees off during practice ahead of the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National on September 26 in Paris, France. Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

How does the scoring system work?

The scoring system for the Ryder Cup is different from everyday golf. Each match is worth one point, with the point halved if the match ends in a tie. There are 28 matches, meaning the first team to reach 14.5 points wins the Ryder Cup. Should the two teams score 14 points each, Team USA will retain the trophy as it's the current holder.

In the fourballs two players from each team play together against the other team, with each player playing their own ball. The better score of the two golfers in a team determines the team's score on a particular hole and each hole is won by the team whose individual golfer has the lowest score.

The foursome matches, meanwhile, see two golfers from Team Europe face two players from Team USA, with team members alternating between shots and each team using one ball. Each hole is won by the team that completes the hole in the fewest shots.

The singles, meanwhile, are a standard competition between two golfers and the winner is whoever has the lowest score.

Does every player play in each format?

No. While each of the 12 players from each team will play one of the single matches on Sunday, the two captains can choose any eight players for the foursomes and fourballs over Friday and Saturday.

Jordan Spieth of the United States speaks with Tiger Woods of the United States during practice ahead of the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National on September 26 in Paris, France. Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Whose side is history on?

Team USA won the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, Minnesota, two years ago, beating Team Europe 17-11 and goes into this year's tournament as favorite.

However, the 2016 triumph was only the second American victory since the turn of the century and Team USA has not won the Ryder Cup on European soil in a quarter of a century.