Ryder Cup Winning Putts: Five of the Best
The Ryder Cup has produced some truly memorable moments over the years. Here we look at some of the finest examples of players holding their nerve for Teams Europe and USA to join golfing folklore.
1985 – Sam Torrance
The 21-time European Tour champion ended 28 years of hurt for Team Europe by sealing a landmark five-point win with the decisive putt at The Belfry. The future Ryder Cup Captain sank a stunning 22-foot putt on the 18th hole to beat Andy North, sparking wild celebrations from the Scot and his team mates.
1999 – Justin Leonard
The 1997 Open Championship winner produced a moment of magic to claim victory in the “Battle of Brookline” for Team USA. Playing against José María Olazábal, the Texan holed a 45-foot putt to keep the trophy on US soil. His winning effort was overshadowed by controversial celebrations from his team ates, who ran on to the 17th green before Olazábal had the chance to putt to halve the match.
2004 – Colin Montgomerie
Captain’s pick Montgomerie, then 41 years old, showed nerves of steel to seal what would be an emphatic nine-point victory for Team Europe at Oakland Hills Country Club. The Scotsman showed why Captain Bernhard Langer was right to select him by holing a tricky five-foot putt on the 18th hole to beat David Toms.
2010 – Graeme McDowell
McDowell joined his captain Montgomerie as a Ryder Cup legend by keeping his cool in front of 35,000 fans at Celtic Manor for a 3 and1 victory over Hunter Mahan as heavy rain in Wales meant a Monday finish for the first time in the event’s history. The 2010 US Open Champion showed why he is one of Europe’s finest match play players, following a crucial putt on the 16th with a steely two-putt on the 17th. Mahan conceded the hole, meaning it was the Northern Irishman who reclaimed the trophy for Europe in the final singles match.
2012 – Martin Kaymer
The 2010 US PGA Championship winner capped off one of the most dramatic clashes in Ryder Cup history by holing the decisive putt for what was later coined the “Miracle in Medinah”. The German, a year into rebuilding his swing, was not in great form at the time and was playing in only his second match of the week. But Kaymer showed the composure of a former World Number One to hole a famous six-foot putt to complete one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history.