1985 - 2018
1985161/2111/2The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, EnglandScotland’s Sam Torrance secured Europe’s first Ryder Cup victory in 28 years, by making an 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole for a 1-up victory. Tears streamed down Torrance’s face, and he raised his arms aloft. Torrance, who had rallied from a three-hole deficit against U.S. Open Champion Andy North, didn’t need the birdie. North hooked his tee shot into the lake while Torrance hit a mammoth drive. North reached the green in four strokes and watched Torrance putt and evoke a thunderous ovation, en route to Europe’s 16.5 to 11.5 triumph.
Spain’s Manuel Pinero (4-0) and Seve Ballesteros (3.5 points) guided the European Team. The momentum swung to Europe during the second- day four-balls, when Craig Stadler, playing with Curtis Strange, missed a three-foot putt on the 18th hole that forced a half with Bernhard Langer and Sandy Lyle. Europe took the cue, taking a 9-7 lead into the singles and dominating the final day, 7.5 to 4.5.
19871315Muirfield Village Golf Club, Dublin, OhioFollowing the opening ceremonies, European Captain Tony Jacklin invited PGA European Tour Executive Director Ken Schofield and the Tour’s chief administrators into a bungalow for cocktails. The officials were greeted by the European Team, which spent the next two hours outlining a variety of issues on Tour. This “clearing of the air” meeting, European officials believed, helped relieve the tension of the team and opened the door for a memorable Ryder Cup performance.
Europe went out and posted its most impressive victory, 15 to 13, and its first triumph on U.S. soil. Europe built a 10.5 to 5.5 lead after two days, sparked by three victories by the Spanish duo of Seve Ballesteros and José María Olazábal. Europe won all four afternoon four-balls on the second day of competition, with its players 29-under par through the 65 holes compared to America’s 22-under par.
During the singles, Ireland’s Eamonn Darcy defeated Ben Crenshaw, 1-up, after a roller coaster match. Darcy went 2-up after six holes and Crenshaw snapped his putter in disgust, putting the remainder of the match with a 1-iron and the edge of his sand wedge.
19891414The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, EnglandFor only the second time in Ryder Cup history, the biennial matches were halved. Surrounding the excitement on the course was the support of the host site and sponsors. This Ryder Cup edition featured the largest tented village at any sporting event in Great Britain – 226 structures covering 350,000 gross square feet. Adding to the pre-Ryder Cup hype was U.S. Captain Raymond Floyd’s introduction of his team at the gala ball as “the 12 greatest players in the world.”
Floyd’s bold declaration failed to accomplish the same results as Ben Hogan’s introduction of his team in 1967. Europe followed its winning pattern of two years earlier by taking the lead after two days. The 9-7 start was aided by Spain’s dynamic duo of Seve Ballesteros and José María Olazábal winning two matches and halving another. Europe’s Christy O’Connor Jr., a Captain’s selection, upset Fred Couples, 1-up, and rookie Ronan Rafferty didn’t score a point until the singles, when he defeated reigning Open Champion Mark Calcavecchia, 1-up.
1991141/2131/2Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Kiawah Island, South CarolinaFor three days, the European and U.S. Ryder Cup Teams waged a memorable duel on the shores of South Carolina. After 28 matches and numerous lead changes, the moment to decide which team would secure the Ryder Cup trophy came down to a six-foot putt.
Germany’s Bernhard Langer and America’s Hale Irwin approached the final green realizing the importance of their match. Irwin’s approach to the green flew wide right and hit a spectator. He then chipped poorly and putted to within a foot of the hole. Langer conceded Irwin’s bogey putt and followed by hitting his 45-foot birdie putt six-feet past the hole. Langer then struck his par putt that just missed the cup. The match was halved and America reclaimed the Ryder Cup that it had surrendered in 1985. Spain’s Seve Ballesteros and José María Olazábal continued their brilliant pairing of the past with three victories and one halve. Fred Couples and Lanny Wadkins led the U.S. with 3-1 records.
19931315The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, EnglandThe U.S. Ryder Cup Team, down by one point after two days of competition, mounted a memorable comeback by winning six singles matches and halving two to win the 30th Ryder Cup, 15 to 13. Led by rookie Davis Love III and veteran Chip Beck, the U.S. victory was capped on the final day by Raymond Floyd sinking three birdie putts on the back nine.
Beck remained unbeaten in singles competition for his career (3-0) by rallying from a three-hole deficit to defeat England’s Barry Lane, 1-up. Love, who suffered from putting woes throughout the week, edged Italy’s Costantino Rocca, 1-up, making a six-foot par putt on the 18th green. The 51-year-old Floyd, the oldest Ryder Cup competitor in history, downed Spain’s José María Olazábal in their singles match, 2-up.
1995131/2141/2Oak Hill Country Club, Rochester, New YorkThe European Ryder Cup Team, trailing by two points after two days of competition, mounted a memorable comeback in the final-day singles to win the 31st Ryder Cup, 14.5 to 13.5. Sparked by singles victories by Philip Walton of Ireland and Howard Clark of England, Europe finished with a 7.5 to 4.5 margin on the final day.
U.S. rookie Phil Mickelson was as the only unbeaten player (3-0-0) on either side. Clark highlighted his 1-up singles victory over Peter Jacobsen with a hole-in-one on the par-3 11th hole. Walton edged Jay Haas, 1-up, after his American opponent’s rally ended on the 18th hole. Haas, down three holes with three to play, holed out a bunker shot on the 16th and won the 17th with a par, after Walton missed his five-foot par putt. But Haas’s rally ended on the 18th tee, when he popped his drive into the trees on the left side of the fairway, punched out, then spun his approach shot off the green. Haas failed to save par from a putt off the fringe of the green, and Walton two-putted for bogey and the Ryder Cup.
1997141/2131/2Valderrama Golf Club, Sotogrande, SpainThe European Ryder Cup Team didn’t need to mount a final-day comeback to win the 32nd Ryder Cup, the first contested in continental Europe. However, the hosts did have to withstand an American rally that fell short of a miracle. Led by five rookies – Denmark’s Thomas Bjørn, Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke, Spain’s Ignacio Garrido, Sweden’s Jesper Parnevik and England’s Lee Westwood – Europe built a 10.5 to 5.5 advantage after two days. America’s trio of stars – Masters Champion Tiger Woods, Open Champion Justin Leonard and PGA Champion Davis Love III – stumbled to a 1-9-3 showing.
Woods earned the only victory in a first-day four-ball match with partner Mark O’Meara, then suffered a stunning 4-and-2 singles defeat to Italy’s Costantino Rocca. The U.S. won the final-day singles, 8-4, but came a point short of winning back the Ryder Cup for the first time since 1993. The final drama to determine either a tie or an outright European victory came down to the final two players left on soggy Valderrama: Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie halved with Scott Hoch, conceding a 15-foot par putt for Hoch and sealing the 14.5 to 13.5 victory.
1999141/2131/2The Country Club, Brookline, MassachusettsThe U.S. Ryder Cup Team mounted a final-day comeback, winning 8.5 of a possible 12 points, to win the Ryder Cup for the first time since 1993. European Ryder Cup Captain Mark James, riding the success of his pairings the first two days, didn’t allow three players to compete until the singles. That strategy backfired as the U.S. sped to a 6-0 lead in the singles, winning by an average of four holes per match, and building momentum.
The U.S. combined for 23 birdies and just three bogeys. The Europeans’ leaders for two days, Sweden’s Jesper Parnevik and Spain’s Sergio Garcia, both lost singles matches. America’s leader was Hal Sutton, who finished the week with a team-leading 3.5 points.
Though the U.S. won eight matches on the final day, it still needed the vital half point to secure the Ryder Cup. Justin Leonard, who trailed Spain’s José María Olazábal by four holes with seven to play, came through. He won four holes to square the match and briefly took the lead on the 17th hole when he stroked home an uphill 45-foot birdie putt. Olazábal barely missed his 25-foot uphill birdie putt. Olazábal made an 18-foot birdie on the final hole to earn the halve, but ultimately watched the Ryder Cup change hands, by a final tally of 14.5 to 13.5.
2002151/2121/2The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, EnglandCaptain Sam Torrance opened the final-day singles matches with what he believed were his best seven players and got more support than he had imagined, as Europe scored a stunning 15.5 to 12.5 victory over the U.S. in the 34th Ryder Cup at The Belfry in Sutton Coldfield, England.
Delayed one year by the terrorist attacks upon America, the Ryder Cup resumed with more dramatics. Europe’s Paul McGinley made a 6-foot putt on the 18th hole to earn a halve against Jim Furyk, assuring Europe the 14.5 points it needed to claim the Cup. Europe won the singles for only the sixth time in the 75-year history of the matches.
The final totals were the largest margin of victory in the Ryder Cup since Europe won, 16.5 to 11.5, in 1985 at The Belfry. Europe now has won the trophy six of the last nine matches. Phil Mickelson, the No. 2 player in the world and second-to-last in the lineup, missed an 18-inch putt early in his match and was routed by Phillip Price of Wales, ranked 119th in the world.
Tiger Woods, suffering from a high fever, never had a chance to contribute. He was on the 17th hole when the loudest roar of the week indicated the Ryder Cup was over. Colin Montgomerie, unbeaten in all five of his matches, led the way in singles by quickly dispatching Scott Hoch, 5 and 4.
200491/2181/2Oakland Hills Golf Club, Bloomfield Township, MichiganEurope’s 18.5 to 9.5 record-setting victory over the U.S. at Oakland Hills Country Club was best summarized by Spain’s 24-year-old Sergio Garcia. “I think that this whole team and also myself, we just live for this,” said Garcia, who scored 4.5 of a possible 5 points to tie for team- leading honors. Europe’s most dominant performance over the U.S. in 77 years began in the opening match and continued through the last putt in Sunday’s final match. Europe earned its second consecutive triumph, fourth of the past five meetings and seventh of the past 10.
The U.S. owns a 24-9-2 overall record, but the gap that existed prior to 1983 has shrunk to the diameter of a cup on a green. It was the European Team, guided by Captain Bernhard Langer of Germany, which made the most of its putting expertise. On Sunday, Europe took its team play to another level, winning the singles, 7.5 to 4.5, repeating its showing in 2002 on the final day. Lee Westwood closed out Kenny Perry with a par putt on the 18th green, earning a 1-up victory that put Europe within a half point of retaining the Ryder Cup for another two years. Minutes later, veteran Colin Montgomerie of Scotland, who had never been defeated in singles, holed a par putt to win his match over David Toms, 1-up, pushing Europe to 14.5 points to retain the Cup.
2006181/291/2The K Club, Straffan, IrelandEurope cruised to its third consecutive Ryder Cup victory, registering a record-matching rout of the U.S. with clutch putting and inspirational leadership by Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke. The 18.5 to 9.5 victory came in the first Ryder Cup conducted in Ireland. The K Club of Straffan, County Kildare, Ireland produced the showcase for what may be the finest European Team in event history. Clarke’s emotional journey back to the 36th Ryder Cup began in mid-August following the death of his wife, Heather, to cancer. He had declared that Heather would have wanted him to compete, and he responded with gusto, an unbeaten mark in three matches. Teammate Lee Westwood, also a Captain’s selection, finished 3-0-2. Europe secured the necessary 14 points to retain possession of the Ryder Cup when Sweden’s Henrik Stenson holed a birdie putt on the 15th hole to defeat Vaughn Taylor.
The U.S., which trailed 10-6 after two days as it had in 1999, never staged a rally. Europe captured all five sessions of the Ryder Cup, a feat accomplished for the first time by either team since the inception of the current format in 1979. The U.S. won only six of the 28 matches.
On a final day when the Europeans holed almost everything they looked at, American Scott Verplank made the longest shot in singles. A Captain’s choice, Verplank aced the 14th hole en route to a 4-and- 3 victory over Padraig Harrington and finished 2-0-0. It was the second ace of the competition after England’s Paul Casey holed a 4-iron at the same hole in Saturday’s foursomes. Verplank’s hole- in-one was the sixth in the competition’s history, but the first by an American.
2008161/2111/2Valhalla Golf Club, Louisville, KentuckyWith a champagne shower coming to a close on the balcony of the clubhouse at Valhalla Golf Club and cheers ringing in their ears, teammates Anthony Kim, Hunter Mahan and Boo Weekley charged down the stairs, champagne bottles in hand, to meet the “13th Man” as Captain Paul Azinger aptly nicknamed the adoring Louisville galleries.
“Staying on point,” as Azinger repeated throughout what became a remarkable team-building effort, a gritty, grinding 12-member USA Team – six of them rookies – toppled Europe, 16.5 to 11.5 in the 37th Ryder Cup. All 12 members of the USA Team contributed at some point to snap a nine-year victory drought, and in the process they may have made the loudest statement about the future of American golf.
At Valhalla, the Americans finally emerged from a wasteland of having lost five of the last six meetings, including back-to-back 18.5 to 9.5 routs in 2004 and 2006, which left the golf world pondering the commitment and passion of U.S. professionals. The U.S. won 7.5 out of a possible 12 points in the singles, led by Kim’s opening 5-and-4 conquest of Spain’s Sergio Garcia.
The rookies on the USA Team – Ben Curtis, J.B. Holmes, Kim, Mahan, Steve Stricker and Weekley – combined for a 9-4-8 record, including a 4-1-1 mark in singles. Conversely, Europe’s vaunted triumvirate of Sergio Garcia, Open and PGA Champion Padraig Harrington, and Lee Westwood didn’t win a match all week.
2010141/2131/2Celtic Manor Resort, Southport, WalesThousands of fans encircled the 17th green on a Monday afternoon at the Celtic Manor Resort, muscling for the best view of the final two gladiators of a marathon, yet mesmerizing 38th Ryder Cup. After six-plus pulsating hours of the U.S. and Europe trading punches to determine which side would carry off a four-pound gold trophy, the pendulum swung to the last of 12 singles matches between Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, the reigning U.S. Open Champion, and Texan Hunter Mahan, one of many heroes of the 2008 Ryder Cup.
Coming down the stretch, McDowell made a big statement in a pressure packed arena by rolling in a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-4 16th hole to go 2-up. After finding the green on the par-3 17th hole, McDowell watched as Mahan hit his tee short of the green, flubbed his chip and then after one last shot walked over to McDowell with hat in hand for a concession and a European victory. It marked the first time since 1991 at Kiawah Island, South Carolina, that the Ryder Cup was decided by the final singles match.
This thriller was set up by contributions by America’s best players and a stirring rally from a four-hole deficit by 21-year-old rookie Rickie Fowler, the third youngest U.S. player ever in golf’s ultimate spectacle. With a week of rain in Wales, the Ryder Cup was extended to a Monday finish for the first time in its 83-year history.
2012131/2141/2Medinah Country Club, Medinah, IllinoisEuropean players wore the image of the late Seve Ballesteros on their sleeves, had his silhouette embroidered on their golf bags, and played with his legendary passion to match the greatest comeback in Ryder Cup history. European Captain José María Olazábal squeezed his eyes, fought back tears and looked skyward after Martin Kaymer stroked home a 6-foot par putt on the 18th green in the fading sunlight at Medinah Country Club. With a 14.5 to 13.5 victory in the 39th Ryder Cup, the four-pound gold trophy was returning to Europe. Kaymer defeated Steve Stricker, 1-up, to cap Europe’s record-matching comeback from a 10-6 deficit, a rally that was even more stunning than what Olazábal and his former teammates experienced in 1999 in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Thirteen years ago, it was Olazábal standing on the green watching the U.S. celebrate after roaring back from the identical margin on Sunday. The Medinah conquest was Europe’s fifth victory in the last six Ryder Cups, and seventh in the last nine.
2014161/2111/2Gleneagles Resort, Perthshire, ScotlandPlayed in Scotland for the first time since Muirfield in 1973, the Europeans were riding a two match-winning streak with a captain in Paul McGinley that was part of those last two victories as vice captain. The Ryder Cup at Medinah was two years’ past, but American captain Tom Watson was banking on his team to remember what happened outside of Chicago, losing a four-point lead during Sunday’s singles and earned its first victory across the pond since 1993 when Watson was the U. S. captain at the Belfry.
It didn’t take long to see McGinley’s plan, like chess pieces, McGinley maneuvered his players brilliantly in the first two days, taking a commanding 4-point lead into the Sunday singles, due primarily to a seven to one run in points in foursomes, which included six European victories and only two halves.
Most of the American struggles came over the last three holes in foursomes as the Europeans dominated 8-2-5. The American talked on Saturday night about extinguishing the deficit as they had done at The Country Club in 1999, but they could never get the momentum on Sunday, losing the singles 6.5 to 5.5 and the Ryder Cup for the third successive time 16.5 to 11.5. Since 1979 when the Ryder Cup first included continental Europe, the Europeans hold a commanding 10-7-1 record.
20161711Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, MinnesotaArnold Palmer’s spirit was a big part of the 2016 Ryder Cup. The King, passed away the Sunday before the matches and every player from both sides felt the loss. As a tribute to a former Ryder Cup player and captain, Palmer’s 1975 captains bag sat on the first tee with three woods in the bag, commemorating Palmer’s life as the matches teed off.
The backstory of the biennial matches, was that U.S. Captain Davis Love III got another chance to bring the Ryder Cup back to U.S. shores after the misfortune of the 2012 matches at Medinah. His team didn’t disappoint. Winning two of the four team sessions by 7-1, the USA squad looked stronger and more in control than the European squad that European Captain Darren Clarke brought to Hazeltine.
The European Team was comprised of six rookie, the most since 2010 and they would struggle with a combined 7-9-1, but if you took out the clear man of the match, Thomas Pieters of Belgium, the other five rookies were 3-8-1.
With only two rookies on Love’s USA side the hand writing was on the wall early with the USA sweeping the Friday morning foursomes session 4-0 and never looking back. It was the fourth time they had swept the foursomes session, the last time was in 1975 at Laurel Valley Golf Club, ironically under the captaincy of Palmer. While the Europeans would stay within shouting distance at 5-3 after the first day and 9.5. to 6.5 after the second day, they could not muster the strength to overcome an American team that just two years earlier were embarrassed by the Europeans, 16.5. to 11.5 in Gleneagles Scotland. The USA won the singles 7.5 to 4 1/5 and the match for the 26th time 17 to 11.
2018171/2101/2Le Golf National, Guyancourt, FranceIn 2018 at Le Golf National, Francesco Molinari secured the winning point for Team Europe to retake the Ryder Cup. The Italian captured five points during the match, punctuated by a 4 and 2 victory over Phil Mickelson in the Sunday singles matches as Europe reached the 14.5 point mark to win the Cup. The United States won three of the top five singles matches on Sunday to close the gap on Europe to just one point. But Europe had taken a commanding lead early in the match and led 10 - 6 heading into the final day. They needed just four and a half points to win their ninth Ryder Cup in the last 12 meetings. Sergio Garcia became the all-time leading points earner following his 2 and 1 defeat of Rickie Fowler on Sunday. Europe defeated the Americans 17.5 to 11.5.