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2016 USA

John Jacobs, first European Ryder Cup captain, dies at 91

VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) -- John Jacobs, the captain of the first European Ryder Cup team and a tour official on the continent, has died. He was 91.

The European Tour announced the death of its "founding father" on Friday. A cause was not provided.

Jacobs played for Britain at the 1955 Ryder Cup in California and was instrumental in later bringing together Europe and Britain. In 1979, Jacobs was captain of the first Ryder Cup team that included players from continental Europe, including Seve Ballesteros.

Jacobs championed the expansion of golf, and the first European Tour event was staged in 1972.

Jacobs was also one of the most popular golf teachers. The European Tour said Jacobs revolutionized coaching "through his innovative philosophies based on ball flight, club face alignment and swing path."

(The 1979 European Ryder Cup team. From left: Tony Jacklin, Sandy Lyle, Mark James, Ken Brown, Peter Oosterhius, Nick Faldo, John Jacobs, Mike King, Brian Barnes, Severiano Ballesteros, Antonio Garrido, Bernard Gallacher, Des Smyth. Photo from PGA of America media archive.)