Best U.S. Ryder Cup moments

Justin Leonard reacts to what would be the Ryder Cup-clinching putt for the U.S. in 1999 at The Country Club.

A Quick Nine: Best U.S. Ryder Cup moments

Don't look now, but the Ryder Cup is right around the corner. With that in mind, we asked our friends in PGA.com Facebook Nation to tell us: What are the best U.S. Ryder Cup moments?

By T.J. Auclair
PGA.com Interactive Producer

The 2012 Ryder Cup is almost here! Can you feel it? Next week, U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III's team will square off against Captain Jose Maria Olazabal's team at Medinah Country Club, just outside Chicago.

Anyone who had ever been will tell you -- there's nothing like the Ryder Cup. I don't know about you, but we can't wait.

With that in mind, we reached out to our friends in PGA.com Facebook Nation this week and asked: What's your favorite U.S. Ryder Cup moment?

There were plenty of great answers, including an overwhelming No. 1.

Here's a look at the list that YOU compiled.

9. Boo Weekley rides the horse off the first tee at Valhalla in Sunday singles. The tension was high going into the final day of the 2008 Ryder Cup at Valhalla. Weekley -- going out in the sixth singles match against Europe's Oliver Wilson -- lightened things up with this classic Ryder Cup moment. After hitting his tee shot, Weekley used his driver as an imaginary horse and rode it off the tee box. Weekley eventually rode it to a 4 and 2 win over Wilson.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Boo playing 'ride 'em Cowboy' down the fairway...hilarious!" -- Veda Lisa Blanton

"Boo Weekley galloping down the fairway at Valhalla on his driver!" -- Mark Meier

8. David Duval's show of emotion after winning his singles match at the 1999 Ryder Cup. Duval, the man behind the wraparound shades, has never been one to wear his emotions on his sleeve... particularly on the golf course. That wasn't the case at The Country Club in 1999, however, when he defeated Jesper Parnevik 5 and 4 in their Sunday singles match helping the U.S. to a historic come-from-behind victory.

Facebook fan quote:

"Duval's show of emotion after winning his singles match in '99." -- Branden Lane

7. Phil Mickelson steps up for Hunter Mahan. After a crushing 14 1/2 - 13 1/2 loss to the Europeans at Celtic Manor in 2010, Mahan felt that he had cost the U.S. the Ryder Cup with his singles loss to Graeme McDowell. McDowell holed a 5-foot putt on the 17th green after Mahan scuffed a chip shot to defeat the American 3 and 1 and clinch the Ryder Cup for the Europeans. Mahan, understandably, took the loss hard. His emotions poured out during the post-match press conference. Mahan was crying on the stage and having a difficult time answering questions. Like a great teammate and friend, Mickelson grabbed the microphone and answered questions for Mahan. It was a touching moment and one Mahan will surely never forget.

Facebook fan quote:

"When Phil Mickelson grabbed the mike away from a sobbing Hunter Mahan at the post press conference to protect Hunter... I will never forget that!" -- Kathy Stephens

6. A big win by Chip Beck and John Cook in afternoon fourballs at the 1993 Ryder Cup. Going into the afternoon fourball session of the 1993 Ryder Cup at the Belfry, the U.S. trailed Europe, 7 1/2 - 4 1/2. The U.S. needed a spark. That's exactly what it got from Beck and Cook, who defeated Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie, 2 up, in the first match of the session. The U.S. would win three of the four matches that session to pull within one point of the Europeans at 8 1/2 - 7 1/2. The next day, the U.S. dominated the singles session, picking up 7 1/2 points to win the Ryder Cup 15-13. Believe it or not, that is the last time the U.S. has won the Ryder Cup on European soil.

Facebook fan quote:

"The Belfry 1993, the last time USA won over there. After not playing in the first three matches, Chip Beck and John Cook was sent out first on Saturday afternoon. They beat Faldo and Montgomerie 2 up. On the last hole, Faldo hit his second to about seven feet or so. Cook steps up and puts his about three feet away. Faldo missed and they conceded Cook's putt. The turning point of that Ryder Cup."

5. The 2008 Ryder Cup at Valhalla -- all of it. U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Paul Azinger did a masterful job at the helm, devising a plan that earned the U.S. its first Ryder Cup win since the miracle comeback at Brookline in 1999. The atmosphere was electric throughout the week and it was a huge victory for the U.S.

Facebook fan quote:

"Definitely Valhalla. What an amazing experience!" -- Tina Griffith

4. Payne Stewart concedes singles match to Colin Montgomerie in 1999. For so many reasons, the 1999 Ryder Cup has to be the most memorable for U.S. fans (more on that coming up). But who can forget Payne Stewart? One month before his tragic death in a plane crash, Stewart was proudly wearing the red, white and blue in the Ryder Cup at The Country Club. Few players were as intense as Stewart and nobody wanted to win more. However, once the U.S. clinched the Ryder Cup in incredibly unlikely fashion, Stewart made the ultimate gesture. Realizing the U.S. had already won the matches, Stewart conceded his singles match to Montgomerie, who was having a difficult week with rowdy fans. It was an incredible act of sportsmanship and a beautiful final, lasting memory of a great golfing champion.

Facebook fan quotes:

"My favorite moment way at The Country Club when, after the U.S. clinched the victory, Payne Stewart conceded a very long putt by Colin Montgomerie to allow him to halve the match. It was a great lesson in sportsmanship and unfortunately my final memory of Payne." -- Jeff Zimmerman

3. Ben Cranshaw's speech on the eve of the final day at The Country Club in 1999. Through four sessions, the Europeans had earned a four-point lead over the Americans at 10-6 heading into the final day of the 1999 matches. Based on history, this was an insurmountable advantage. No one believed the U.S. could overcome such a deficit -- except for their captain, Ben Crenshaw. At the end of his press conference the night before Sunday's singles matches, Crenshaw famously said the following: "I'm going to leave y'all with one thought. I'm a big believer in fate. I have a good feeling about this."

Apparently he knew something the rest of the world didn't.

Facebook fan quote:

"Ben Crenshaw's, I've got a good feeling speech." -- Steve Norman

2. The concession in the 1969 Ryder Cup at Royal Birkdale. Tony Jacklin faced Jack Nicklaus in the final-day singles match. With the match all square and Nicklaus in for par on the final hole, Jacklin had a short -- but missable -- putt left to either halve the match or lose it for the Europeans. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Nicklaus decided he didn't want to put his opponent in a position to miss the putt. Instead, he conceded the putt to Jacklin, resulting in the first draw in Ryder Cup history. To this day, people are blown away by the sportsmanship Nicklaus displayed that day. He and Jacklin have been great friends ever since, and even designed a course together in Sarasota, Fla., named after what happened that day in the 1969 Ryder Cup -- The Concession.

Facebook fan quote:

"I believe it was Jack Nicklaus who halved his match giving a fairly long putt to his European challenger who would have likely lost -- that is the true spirit of the Ryder Cup -- sportsmanship!" -- Dan Davisson

1. Justin Leonard's putt at The Country Club in 1999. Remember this? Leonard clinched the Ryder Cup when he halved his match with Jose Maria Olazabal. Leonard knocked in an improbable 45-foot putt on the 17th hole that drove the fans and his teammates crazy. Olazabal still had a 22-footer to halve the hole -- a forgotten fact about that match. Once things settled down, Olazabal missed his putt, assuring Leonard and the U.S. the half-point needed to win the Ryder Cup. Olazabal would win the final hole to halve the match.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Gotta be Justin Leonard's putt!" -- Brian Wetzel

"Justin Leonard '99." -- Logan Lewis

"Has to be 1999, Justin hitting that putt. Incredible putt in a pressure situation." -- Walter Golden

"Justin Leonard... need I say more?" -- Amanda Kocis