History
1995 Ryder Cup team
History

Europe

September 24th: Europe's comeback in 1995

The Ryder Cup has been littered with great comebacks down the years.

Lindrick was the first and Medinah almost certainly the greatest but 1995 at Oak Hill was the comeback that launched a dominant period in European Ryder Cup history.

Europe's first victory as a continent in 1985 was followed by another win in 1987 and a tie in 1989 but the United States had won in 1991 and come from behind in the singles themselves in 1993 to make it two in a row.

Europe travelled to New York state to take on an American Team containing reigning Major champions Ben Crenshaw and Corey Pavin and a young rookie named Phil Mickelson, but they had some strength of their own.

Colin Montgomerie and Bernhard Langer were the headliners but taking the last automatic qualifying place was Philip Walton, the World Number 108 who had twice been a winner in 1995 at the English Open and Open Catalonia.

Walton had proved he was made of stern stuff in beating Montgomerie in a play-off to win at Forest of Arden but he had just one outing over days one and two of his Ryder Cup debut, losing one up to Loren Roberts and Peter Jacobsen alongside Ian Woosnam in the Saturday foursomes as the United States took a 9-7 lead into the singles.

Lehman beat Seve Ballesteros 4 and 3 in the top match to make it 10-7 and it looked like all was lost but what was to follow was one of the most dramatic afternoons in Ryder Cup history.

Howard Clark made a hole-in-one on the 11th – the second of the week after Costantino Rocca's in the Saturday foursomes - en route to beating Jacobsen one up and there were also wins for Montgomerie, Mark James and David Gilford as Europe mounted their comeback.

There were American wins for Davis Love III and Pavin, while Ian Woosnam and Fred Couples shared a half but when Sam Torrance beat Roberts 2 and 1, the match was level at 12½-12½.

In the remaining two key matches, Nick Faldo was one down to Curtis Strange on the 17th and when Jay Haas holed a bunker shot on the 16th, Walton's lead was down to just one.

Strange had been a controversial Pick by American Captain Lanny Wadkins and when he bogeyed the 17th and 18th, Faldo pounced to claim a one up victory and leave Europe within a point of the Cup.

The great Ryder Cup talisman of old Ballesteros embraced Faldo in tears on the 18th green and shortly after it was Walton who made a two-putt par to beat Haas one up and win the Cup. 

The victory ended the United States' winning run and they head to Paris having not won back-to-back Ryder Cups since.