ESPN Golf Online

Here are some of the more common terms that will be used during the Ryder Cup or any team competition featuring match play:

Type of play
Match play: Competition is scored by number of holes won rather than strokes in an 18-hole round. Scores are not kept, instead keeping track of how many holes each player has won. All Ryder Cup matches use this format.

Fourball: Also known as better ball. Two players from each team play each hole, with the better score of the two players deciding the hole. Birdies often are needed to win. In other words, Player A makes a birdie, while his partner, Player B, makes a triple-bogey. The birdie is the only score counted. If someone from the other team makes an eagle or better, they win the hole. If the other team's best score is a birdie, the hole is tied. If the other team's best score is par or worse, the first team wins the hole. There will be four fourball matches on Friday and four more on Saturday. Captains determine the pairings without knowing who the other squad will select.

Foursomes: Also known as alternate shot. Two players from each team take turns playing -- beginning with the tee shot -- until the hole is completed. Players drive on alternate holes, regardless of who putted last. In other words, One player tees off on all the odd-numbered holes, while his partner tees off on all even-numbered holes. There will be four foursome matches on Friday and four more on Saturday. Captains determine the pairings without knowing who the other squad will select.

Singles: One player versus another, with each hole counting as one point. There will be 12 singles matches played on Sunday. Captains determine the order of each team's roster, with all 12 members playing a match for each team.

All-square: When an individual match or the entire competition is tied. In other words, Team A has won four holes and Team B has won four holes. The score is all-square, not 4-4.

Up/Down: Used to describe which player is leading or trailing in a match. In other words, if Team A has won four holes and Team B has won two holes, then Team A is considered 2-up, or Team B is 2-down.

Through: Used in conjunction with up/down. In other words, if a player is 2-up through 10, he leads by two holes with 10 holes complete.

Dormie: When one side is up by the exact number of holes that remain. The best the player who trails can do is tie. In other words, Player A is 3-up after 15 holes, meaning there are only three holes remaining.

Final scoring: If a match goes 18 holes, the final score is simply all square for a tie, 1-up or 2-up. But most matches often end before 18 holes are complete. For instance, if Player A is 3-up with two holes to play, then Player B cannot catch up. Therefore the match is complete, and the final score would be 3-and-2. The first number represents the lead, while the second number signifies how many holes remained.

Halve: When both players get the same score on a hole. Or, when a complete 18-hole match ends up all-square. In the Ryder Cup, each team gets a half point for the match.

Concede: Unlike tournament play, a player can give his opponent a shot. This usually happens on a short putt and helps speed up play. It can also occur when one player has hit into the water or out-of-bounds and realizes he will lose the hole.

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