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Shane Bacon

Ryder Cup changes schedule of play for the next two days

Shane Bacon
Devil Ball Golf

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When you have three days to get in 28 possible matches, the last thing you can afford is a seven-hour rain delay. So, when Mother Nature reared her ugly head at Celtic Manor on Friday, things were going to change.

But, nobody knew they'd be this different. The normal format for a Ryder Cup has four fourball matches on Friday morning and then four foursome matches in the afternoon, with that format repeated on Saturday. Sunday is a chance for all 12 players to be out on the golf course, playing singles matches against their 12 opponents.

That format is out the window. The announcement came as play was concluding on Friday. After the fourball matches finish up Saturday morning, things will shake up.

Immediately following the fourball matches, six foursome matches (Read: alternate shot) will go out on the golf course. When those complete, there will be four fourball matches along with two foursome matches. After that, there will be the usual 12 single matches.

What does all this mean? Well, a ton. First and foremost, it will mean that for the next three sessions, every golfer on both teams will play, as opposed to the usual picking and choosing from the captains.

That means that the already hectic job by captains will be enhanced, and Corey Pavin and Colin Montgomerie will be in a much tougher position as the choosers of appropriate teams.

Also, it means that rookies like Jeff Overton and Bubba Watson, who went out early on Friday, will be a part of every session, something that I'm sure Pavin wasn't planning on doing.

The changes were done for weather purposes, but if you had to pick a team that this helped, it would probably the Europeans, who always seem to succeed in foursomes as a whole.

It also means that Saturday will be an absolute marathon in Wales. Matches will be starting and stopping all over the golf course, and the normal four matches you follow at a time will be tossed aside for six at a time.

Also, it means it will be more exciting for the fans. The good news? At least we get to catch it all live on ESPN and NBC.

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