Technically, the biggest possible margin of victory for a single, 18-hole match in match play is 17 and 15 with one player winning on the third hole.
But that would require a series of unfortunate incidents, to put it mildly. Thanks to Doug Ferguson and the USGA, we know that is possible only if the losing player committed seven violations, including having two caddies, having a parent as a caddie and taking an unauthorized cart ride, and all of the violations would have to be discovered on the second hole. In short, it's an incredibly unlikely outcome.
Based purely on on-course results, 10 and 8 is the biggest – and earliest – win possible in match play if a player or pairing were to win each of the first 10 holes.
However, the largest margin of victory in a match in Ryder Cup history is 8 and 7. It's been done twice in singles.
Here are the biggest match wins ever in the Ryder Cup.
<6 and 4>
|8 and 7||1989||Singles||Tom Kite def. Howard Clark|
|8 and 7||1997||Singles||Fred Couples def. Ian Woosnam|
|7 and 6||1979||Foursomes||Hale Irwin/Tom Kite def. Ken Brown/Des Smyth|
|7 and 6||1991||Foursomes||Paul Azinger/Mark O'Meara def. Sir Nick Faldo/David Gilford|
|7 and 6||2012||Foursomes||Keegan Bradley/Phil Mickelson def. Lee Westwood/Luke Donald|
|7 and 6||1969||Singles||Miller Barber/Maurice Bembridge|
|7 and 6||1971||Singles||Lee Trevino def. Brian Huggett|
|7 and 6||1997||Singles||Tom Lehman def. Ignacio Garrido|
|7 and 5||1983||Foursomes||Gil Morgan/Lanny Wadkins def. Sam Torrance/J.M. Canizares|
|7 and 5||1985||Foursomes||J.M. Canizares/Jose Rivero def. Tom Kite/Calvin Peete|
|7 and 5||1993||Foursomes||Ian Woosnam/Bernhard Langer def. Paul Azinger/Payne Stewart|
|7 and 5||1981||Four-ball||Lee Trevino/Jerry Pate def. Sir Nick Faldo/Sam Torrance|
|6 and 5||1981||Four-ball||Des Smyth/J.M. Canizares def. Bill Rogers/Bruce Lietzke|
|6 and 5||1989||Four-ball||Seve Ballesteros/J.M. Olazabal def. Tom Watson/Mark O'Meara|
|6 and 5||1993||Four-ball||Ian Woosnam/Peter Baker def. Fred Couples/Paul Azinger|
|6 and 5||1995||Four-ball||Jeff Maggert/Loren Roberts def. Sam Torrance/Costantino Rocca|
|6 and 5||1963||Singles||Gene Littler def. Tom Haliburton|
|6 and 5||1973||Singles||Gay Brewer def. Bernhard Gallacher|
|6 and 5||1973||Singles||Lee Trevino def. Neil Coles|
|6 and 5||1999||Singles||Davis Love III def. Jean Van de Velde|
|6 and 4||1965||Four-ball||Arnold Palmer/Dave Marr def. Peter Alliss/Christy O'Connor|
|6 and 4||1995||Four-ball||Corey Pavin/Phil Mickelson def. Bernhard Langer/Per-Ulrik Johansson|
|6 and 4||1965||Singles||Tony Lema def. Christy O'Connor|
|6 and 4||1981||Singles||Ben Crenshaw def. Des Smyth|
|6 and 4||2004||Singles||Jim Furyk def. David Howell|
|6 and 4||2010||Singles||Dustin Johnson def. Martin Kaymer|
|6 and 4||2018||Singles||Tony Finau def. Tommy Fleetwood|
The largest of victory so at the 2018 Ryder Cup was Tony Finau winning 6 and 4 over Tommy Fleetwood. The European side had five matches they won 5 and 4 throughout the three days of competition.