1989-1991: Best Ryder Cup quotes
With less than two months until The 42nd Ryder Cup begins at Le Golf National in France, rydercup.com looks back on the best quotes from previous Ryder Cups.
This week our attention turns to two of the most memorable editions of the biennial competition. We begin in 1989, with Europe still on a high after claiming back-to-back wins, including a first victory across the Atlantic in 1987.
Tony Jacklin led Europe for the fourth Ryder Cup in a row, pitting his wits against four-time Major winner Raymond Floyd. The Englishman, who had already seen off Amercian teams captained by Lee Trevino and Jack Nicklaus, took charge at the site of Europe's victory four years previously at The Belfry.
After a topsy-turvy battle, the contest finished tied at 14-14, meaning Europe retained the trophy. It was just the second time in the history of The Ryder Cup that the spoils had been shared, but that didn't hide the fact that the United States were no longer the dominant force. Let's take a look at some of the classic quotes from that week in Warwickshire...
"There's so much pressure. They crack like we crack." - Tony Jacklin, on the intensity of the Ryder Cup.
"Our guys kept hitting it in the water. You can't do that against world-class players." - Raymond Floyd, on his side's failure to beat the Europeans.
"Coming down the fairway, Tony Jacklin said to me, 'If you put him under pressure, I promise you will win the hole and the match.' That's all I thought about. I had a big two-iron, I made a turn and just hit it." - Christy O'Connor Jnr, on his memorable approach into the 18th in his 1UP singles victory against Fred Couples.
"From 50 yards in, we started believing we had to hole every shot, sometimes for a half." - Nick Faldo, on his duel alongside Ian Woosnam against Paul Azinger and Chip Beck, that ultimately ended in a 2&1 win for the Americans.
"When Seve gets his Porsche going, not even San Pedro in heaven can stop him." - José María Olazábal, on playing partner Seve Ballesteros after their 6&5 win over Tom Watson and Mark O'Meara.
In 1991, Jacklin was replaced by the Scot Bernard Gallacher, with the United States also opting for a new captain in the form of two-time US PGA Championship winner Dave Stockton.
Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina was the venue for one of the most talked about contests in the history of the tournament. Nicknamed the 'War on the Shore', the event was full of drama and resulted in a 14½ - 13½ American victory. Bernhard Langer's missed putt on the 18th in his singles match against Hale Irwin became somewhat of a defining moment of the 1991 edition, with the German's error confirming that the trophy would stay in the United States.
Here are some of the quotes from that intense week in the Palmetto State...
"Nobody in the world would have made that putt under that pressure. Not even Jack Nicklaus in his prime. I certainly wouldn't have holed it. It was too much for anyone." - Seve Ballesteros, on Langer's missed putt on the 18th against Irwin.
"I misread the putt, because of those spike marks. If I had stood there shaking and yipped it either way, it would have been a different story, but it was not a bad putt." - Bernhard Langer, on his putt in the Sunday singles.
"It really got Seve's back up and Olazábal's back up. They took their game to another level and won that match." - Bernard Gallacher, on a controversial match between the formidable Spanish duo and Chip Beck and Paul Azinger.
"It's a course that doesn't let you breathe." - Nick Faldo, on the challenge of taking on Kiawah Island.
"I kept hearing, 'USA, USA!' I couldn't breathe or swallow." - Hale Irwin, on the partisan crowd that gathered on the Ocean Course.