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The Ryder Cup has one of the most unique formats in golf.

A team competition, the famous biennial match is one of the only occasions fans get to experience matchplay.

But what is the foursomes format and how does it work in the Ryder Cup?

Team Europe and Team USA compete for 28 points across 28 matches in the three-day event, with the winner being the first team to reach 14.5 points on the board.

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There are 12 points up for grabs across 12 singles matches on the closing Sunday, but the other 16 points are decided across four sessions of foursomes and four ball matches in the opening two days.

And it is for tradition for the Ryder Cup to start with the foursomes format on the opening morning of the showpiece.

So how does foursome work?

In the foursomes format, two players from each team play one ball per hole. The players take it in turns with alternate shots until each hole is complete.

The players also alternate hitting tee shots with odd-numbered and even-numbered holes. The team with the lowest score wins the hole, and if the scores are tied, the hole is halved.

In the Ryder Cup, a point is awarded to the team who is up on their opponents after the match. Any matches that are tied after 18 holes will see both teams share half a point.

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In total, eight points are available across the foursomes format, which is played across two sessions on Friday and Saturday.

Eight players from each team are selected for the opening foursomes session in the Ryder Cup, meaning four players from each team are left out of the early proceedings.

Those decisions are left with the Ryder Cup captains, who determine which groups should play together in foursomes and who should play in the fourballs.

Each player then competes in the singles shootout on Sunday in the more familiar solo matchplay format.

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