Published: Sep 27, 2012 8:04 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 28, 2012 6:32 AM EDT

MEDINAH, Ill. (AP) - Facts and figures for the Ryder Cup:

Format: Play begins Friday morning with four matches of foursomes (alternate shot). There will be four more matches of fourballs (better ball) in the afternoon and four matches of each Saturday. The cup will be decided Sunday with 12 singles matches.

Off first: World No. 1 Rory McIlroy and countryman Graeme McDowell will be first off the tee Friday against U.S. players Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker.

Course: Medinah Country Club, completed in 1928 and originally designed for women members. It since has been redesigned four times, with Rees Jones made additional tweaks for the Ryder Cup. At 7,658 yards, it will be the longest ever for a Ryder Cup.

Points: Europe needs 14 points to retain the cup it won two years ago in Wales. The United States needs 14½ points to win the cup.

Series: United States leads 25-11-2.

Key statistic: Sergio Garcia has not lost in nine foursomes matches. He is paired with Luke Donald against Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley in the opening matches.

Noteworthy: The last time Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker played foursomes together they lost 6 and 5 to Luke Donald and Lee Westwood. They're paired in the opening matches again against Ian Poulter and Justin Rose.

Quoteworthy: "Just play hard, play with passion and win the damn points." - European captain Jose Maria Olazabal on his team's strategy.

Television (all times EDT): Friday, 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., ESPN. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., NBC. Sunday, noon to 6 p.m., NBC.