The biggest competition in golf comes to Gleneagles this September as Paul McGinley’s European side take on Tom Watson’s USA team in the battle to lift the 40th Ryder Cup and fans can watch all the action exclusively live on Sky Sports’ dedicated Ryder Cup channel.
One of sport’s most compelling rivalries and arguably the most exciting event in the complete golfing calendar, elite players from Europe and the United States go head-to-head once again in this biennial competition that grips the sporting world for three days every two years.
The 40th Ryder Cup Matches will be played on the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles Hotel, only the second time the event has visited Scotland, the home of golf, and on a course designed by arguably the game’s greatest player in 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus.
First known as the Monarch’s Course from its opening in 1993, the PGA Centenary has matured to offer a fantastic risk-reward test perfectly suited for the matchplay format of the Ryder Cup.
Indeed 1993 is a symbolic year for the visiting captain and Team USA as it was the last time that an American team won the Ryder Cup on European soil, captained by eight-time major winner Tom Watson himself.
Twenty years on from that triumph, Watson will be aiming to guide his country to their first Ryder Cup success in six years and wipe away the painful memories of Medinah two years ago.
Europe’s 2012 victory, ‘the Miracle in Medinah’, is now part of Ryder Cup folklore as the European team, led by captain Jose Maria Olazabal, rallied from a 10-6 deficit to win eight of the 12 singles matches on the final day to secure a dramatic triumph.
At 10-6 down after the first two days, Europe’s chances of retaining the trophy they won so famously at Celtic Manor two years before looked improbable, but that mindset was certainly not present in the thoughts of the 12 European players and captain Olazabal as they entered the final day singles.
Inspired by the memory of Ryder Cup legend Seve Ballesteros, the European team managed to pull of one of the most sensational sporting upsets in front of a stunned American crowd at the Medinah Country Club in Illinois.
Two years since that famous Sunday, now the rivalry is renewed as Paul McGinley takes on Tom Watson for the right to be crowned Ryder Cup winners in the 2014 edition at Medinah.
In terms of both 2014 captains career achievements, Watson’s honours far outstrip the Irishman, having collected 71 worldwide professional victories including eight majors, compared to the Irishman’s four European Tour titles, but those statistics will cease to hold any relevance ahead of the Gleneagles contest.
The only statistic that could count is that Europe go into this Ryder Cup with four of the top five players in the world rankings.
Despite featuring the likes of Masters winner Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson and rising stars Rickie Fowler and Jordan Speith, the USA’s task will be made more challenging with the absence of two of its biggest stars in 14-time major winner Tiger Woods and top PGA Tour player Dustin Johnson, coupled by the threat of an ultra-strong European team who are firm favourites to add yet another trophy to their collection.
2014 Open champion and US PGA winner Rory McIlroy has been undoubtedly form golfer of the year and he is the headliner of Paul McGinley’s team, which also boasts the last two US Open winners in Martin Kaymer and Justin Rose.
Recent Ryder Cup history could have read very differently in recent years with Europe only winning the last two encounters by a solitary point, emphasizing how close the two teams are in an era when nearly all of the top European stars ply their trade on the lucrative American PGA Tour.
Europe, and formerly Great Britain & Ireland, were America’s whipping boys for nearly 50 years from the 1930s, but the tables have turned since the mid-1980s with five wins from the last six events, including the memorable success at Medinah two years ago.
That sees McGinley’s side as the favourites to win on Scottish soil, but his players will have to deal with that tag while remain wary of the effect it could have on their much wounded opponents.
All the drama of one of the greatest events in sport will unfold at Gleneagles as Scotland’s sensational summer of sport, which was headlined by a hugely successful Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, concludes with an equally momentous global sporting occasion in the Ryder Cup.
Sky Sports will be screening all three days exclusively live with its comprehensive coverage of its tenth consecutive Ryder Cup tournament offering golf fans the best seat in the house for those outside the Gleneagles course.
Commenting on the Sky Sports’ wide-ranging coverage this year, Barney Francis, managing director, said: “We’re dedicating a whole channel to the biggest event in golf, providing viewers with the complete Ryder Cup experience all in one place.
“There will be nowhere better for sports fans to enjoy the passion, drama and excitement of this incredible event as we’ll offer round-the-clock build up, the opening and closing ceremonies and exclusive live coverage of all three days from Gleneagles. “
We’re incredibly proud of our partnership with golf and its fitting we mark our tenth Ryder Cup on Sky Sports with an entire channel. We can’t wait.”
Paul McGinley, European Ryder Cup captain and regular Sky Sports commentator, added: “The Ryder Cup is a truly unique sporting spectacle, full of drama, excitement and passion, all of which has been brought to life for the television viewers over the years by Sky Sports.
“Having worked with the Sky Sports team at major golf events for the past couple of years, I know the professionalism and enthusiasm in place for our sport, all of which will go together to produce a feast of television for golf fans in September.”
The wait is almost over to see the finest golfers from the United States and Europe go head-to-head for glory as one of sport’s greatest rivalries is rekindled in the 40th edition of the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.
Sky Sports will dedicate an entire channel to the 2014 Ryder Cup offering two weeks of non-stop golf, including exclusively live coverage of the biggest matchplay event in the sport.
Sky Sports 4 becomes Sky Sports Ryder Cup for the duration of the tournament and its surrounding weeks, showcasing over 330 hours of golf across 14 days, including 33 hours of live coverage from Gleneagles.
The channel goes live at 6.00am on Thursday, September 18, ahead of the start of Sky’s coverage of the Wales Open and continues until 6.00am on Thursday, October 2, as Sky Sports shows exclusively live coverage of the Ryder Cup for the 10th time.
Sky’s first live Ryder Cup was in 1995 at Oak Hill Country Club in New York, where the European team captained by Bernard Gallacher won by a one-point margin to win back the Cup.
Since then, the broadcaster has followed every historic moment, from Paul McGinley’s triumphant dive into the lake at The Belfry in 2002, to the ‘miracle of Medinah’ two years ago, and Sky Sports will continue to be the UK home of the tournament’s future memorable moments after securing exclusive live rights until at least 2018.
For live coverage of the 2014 Ryder Cup contest, Sky Sports’ leading golf presenter David Livingstone returns to anchor the channel’s coverage for the tenth time, starting with opening ceremony on Thursday, September 25, continuing with the fourballs and foursomes matches on Friday and Saturday, before reaching a spectacular climax with the traditional Sunday singles.
Livingstone will be joined in the Sky studio overlooking the first tee at Gleneagles by former winning European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie and coach to US Ryder Cup stars Butch Harmon, who will both provide expert analysis and comment from the main presentation area, as well as the commentary box during live play.
Golfing legend and Sky Sports regular Jack Nicklaus, who played in five Ryder Cup teams and captained the USA twice, will also be part of the channel’s coverage again, joining the studio team ahead of Sunday’s final day singles matches.
Also on the Sky Sports team for the tournament is 2011 Open champion Darren Clarke, who has made seven Ryder Cup appearances either as player or vice-captain, and will provide his unique take on proceedings from the commentary box and the studio throughout each day’s play.
Clarke will join a Sky Sports team of commentators and experts that boasts experience from playing in and broadcasting over 100 Ryder Cups.
Leading the play-by-play commentary team for the channel’s tenth Ryder Cup are Royal Television Society award winners and Sky Sports stalwarts Ewen Murray and Bruce Critchley, with Rob Lee and Mark Roe also part of the team behind the microphone in the commentary box.
On-course reporting will be provided by Howard Clark, who made played in six European Ryder teams between 1977 and 1995, as well as Richard Boxall and Tim Barter.
After each day’s play, the Sky Sports team will dissect all the key moments with a two-hour highlights show at 7.30pm each night, which will be sandwiched by The Verdict, a half-hour discussion programme at 7.00pm, followed by The Prediction at 9.30pm.
All three programmes will be presented by Sarah Stirk, who will be joined each day in the studio by 1999 Ryder Cup player Andrew Coltart and European Tour professional Nick Dougherty.
Alongside tens of hours of live action, Sky Sports Ryder Cup will be packed with golf programming in the week prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup. Ryder Cup Countdown tees things off with a special live two-hour preview show on Sunday, September 21, presented by David Livingstone with guests including Sky Sports analysts Butch Harmon and Colin Montgomerie, along with golfing greats Sam Torrance and Tony Jacklin.
There will be daily preview shows from Monday to Thursday of Ryder Cup week, as well as live coverage of the official opening and closing ceremonies, plus exclusive feature interview specials with Paul McGinley and Ian Poulter.
Sky Sports will also broadcast live coverage of the Pro-Celebrity Challenge, taking place before the start of the opening ceremony on Thursday, with Ryder Cup fans at Gleneagles in for a treat when four golfing legends take on a team of famous sporting faces in a special exhibition match.
Former Ryder Cup captains Colin Montgomerie, Ian Woosnam, Mark James and Corey Pavin, as well as Scottish footballing legend Kenny Dalglish, former football pundit and Liverpool great Alan Hansen, ex-England footballer Jamie Redknapp and Scottish Rugby star Gavin Hastings will all star in a four-ball better ball contest played over nine holes on the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles, teeing off at 11.30am.
Sky Sports Ryder Cup will also show the official films from previous Ryder Cups in the week of the 2014 tournament, including the ‘Miracle of Medinah’ and ‘How The Ryder Cup Was Won’.
Visitors to Gleneagles for the 2014 Ryder Cup will be able to access the Sky Sports Ryder Cup channel free whether they are Sky Sports subscribers or not, thanks to complimentary wi-fi being provided by the Ryder Cup organisers and access to Sky Sports provided by Sky Go and NOW TV.
Sky Sports News HQ will also provide reports from Gleneagles in the build-up to Ryder Cup weekend as both teams get their first look at the PGA Centenary Course and captains Paul McGinley and Tom Watson fine tune their preparation for the matches.
In addition to watching comprehensive TV coverage, there are many ways to enjoy all the action with Sky Sports online and on the go.
The Sky Sports for iPad app will bring viewers closer to action, with multiple live streams from Gleneagles that can be viewed using split screen technology, highlights from around the course, as well as a live scoreboard and a live feed of the latest tweets from those in the know.
Sky Sports viewers will also have the option of watching American TV coverage of the event via the app or on TV by pressing the red button, courtesy of NBC.
Fans can also keep up-to-date with all the latest news and reports from the 40th Ryder Cup via Sky Sports’ dedicated website – skysports.com/rydercup – or by following Sky Sports Golf on Twitter – @SkySportsGolf.
Get behind Team Europe as they defend the Ryder Cup against the United States at Gleneagles from September 26-28. Enjoy the noisiest three days in golf from Gleneagles exclusively live on Sky Sports Ryder Cup – Upgrade Here.
.Sunday 21st September Ryder Cup Countdown – Preview 7.30pm-9.30pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup
Monday 22nd September Ryder Cup Countdown – 4 Days to Go 5.00pm-6.00pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup Ian Poulter: Europe’s Postman 6.00pm-7.00pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup
Tuesday 23rd September Ryder Cup Countdown – 3 Days to Go 5.00pm-6.00pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup McGinley: The Making of a Captain 6.00pm-6.30pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup
Wednesday 24th September Ryder Cup Countdown – 2 Days to Go 5.00pm-6.30pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup Miracle at Medinah 7.00pm-9.00pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup
Thursday 25th September Ryder Cup Pro-Celebrity Challenge LIVE: 11.30am-2.30pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup / Sky Sports YouTube Channel OPENING CEREMONY LIVE: 2.30pm-5.30pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup / Sky 1 Replay: 7.00pm-10.00pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup
Friday 26th September DAY 1: FOURBALLS LIVE: 7.00am-1.00pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup DAY 1: FOURSOMES LIVE: 1.00pm-7.00pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup Ryder Cup 2014: The Verdict – Day 1 Analysis: 7.00pm-7.30pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup Ryder Cup 2014: Day 1 Highlights: 7.30pm-9.30pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup Ryder Cup 2014: The Prediction – Day 2 Analysis: 9.30pm-10.00pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup
Saturday 27th September DAY 2: FOURBALLS LIVE: 7.00am-1.00pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup DAY 2: FOURSOMES LIVE: 1.00pm-7.00pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup Ryder Cup 2014: The Verdict – Day 2 Analysis: 7.00pm-7.30pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup Ryder Cup 2014: Day 2 Highlights: 7.30pm-9.30pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup Ryder Cup 2014: The Prediction – Day 3 Analysis: 9.30pm-10.00pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup
Sunday 28th September DAY 3: FOURBALLS LIVE: 10.00am-7.00pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup Ryder Cup 2014: The Verdict – Day 3 Analysis: 7.00pm-7.30pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup Ryder Cup 2014: Day 3 Highlights: 7.30pm-10.00pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup
Monday 29th September How the 2014 Ryder Cup Was Won 8.00pm-10.00pm Sky Sports Ryder Cup