What European records can be broken or tied at the Ryder Cup?
From the number of appearances to points won in various categories, there are many records that could be broken or have the possibility of being equalled at this year’s Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.
The first of these records belong to Lee Westwood, and it’s one that he will set just by teeing up. When the Englishman made his debut as a rookie in the 1997 Ryder Cup, he played his first four matches alongside Sir Nick Faldo – winning two of a four possible points. 24 years later, Westwood will tie his first partner’s record of 11 appearances for Team Europe at the 2020 Ryder Cup in Wisconsin.
And while the European Team appearance record is one Westwood is guaranteed to match, there are many other records which could possibly fall or be matched this week. Here is your guide below.
Most points won
Sergio Garcia enters this year’s side as one of Captain Pádraig Harrington’s picks, and will have the opportunity to extend his own record. During the previous contest at Le Golf National, Garcia overtook Faldo’s record by half a point, adding three points to put his total a 25.5 points from nine appearances.
At Whistling Straits he will have the chance to set that bar even higher, but he won’t be without competition: Lee Westwood, who currently sits on 23 points, also has a chance overtake Garcia if he were to have a successful outing in Wisconsin.
Nick Faldo currently holds the record for the most number of matches played for Team Europe, with a total of 46. As it stands, Lee Westwood has played in 44 matches, and Sergio Garcia 41. While Garcia would have to play in all five sessions to tie Faldo, Westwood only needs to play in one other session than the singles to match him, and three sessions in total to set a new record.
Foursomes Matches played
Lee Westwood, Bernhard Langer and Sir Nick Faldo have all played in 18 foursomes matches in their Ryder Cup careers for Europe, with Sergio Garcia close behind on 17. Either Westwood or Garcia could hold this record on their own by the end of the week.
Fourball Matches played
Nick Faldo holds this record alone for the moment on 17 matches played for Team Europe, but with Westwood on 16 matches and Garcia at 15, either could tie Faldo, and Westwood could surpass him this week.
Most matches won
Garcia may hold the record for number of points won for Team Europe, but Faldo still narrowly leads the way in number of Matches won, with 23 to Garcia’s 22. Westwood is three behind Faldo with 20, while the likes of Ian Poulter is at 14. Garcia has the higher chance of taking this record from Faldo, but Westwood could also do it.
Most fourball points won
Ian Woosnam and José María Olazábal – two former European Captains – share the record for most fourball points won with 10.5.
Once again, the two men who could threaten this record this week are Garcia and Westwood. Garcia is the closer of the two, on 9.5 points, while Westwood sits tied on nine points with the late, great Seve Ballesteros.
Most foursomes points won
Garcia is at the top of this one with Langer at 11.5 points, just half a point ahead of Westwood and Faldo. As with the fourballs, both men have the opportunity to reset this record target.
Most successful Ryder Cup partnership in a single Ryder Cup
It should come as no surprise that Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari’s dominant display in Paris was the most successful in history, as they become the only European partnership to win all four points from the first four sessions of foursomes and fourballs. Molinari won’t be in the side this year for Moliwood to try again, but there is an opportunity for a new pairing to match them.
Most successful Ryder Cup rookie
When Thomas Pieters made his debut in 2016, he made history with four points from five matches to become Europe’s most successful rookie. In 2018, Tommy Fleetwood matched that feat, winning four points alongside Molinari before losing in the singles to Tony Finau. Three rookies in this year’s team - Shane Lowry, Viktor Hovland and Bernd Wiesberger – will have a chance to match them, or do what no man has done before as a rookie and win all five.
Most successful player in a single Ryder Cup
Francesco Molinari’s 5-0-0 record in the 2018 Ryder Cup is a record that will stand the test of history, but there will always be an opportunity to match him as just the second man to win all five points in one Ryder Cup.
Biggest margin of victory
Are these records that could be beaten this week?
The biggest margin of victory for Team Europe so far in the Ryder Cup in foursomes has been 7&5, achieved in 1985 by Jose Rivero and Jose Maria Canizares over Tom Kite and Calvin Pete, and again in 1993 by Ian Woosnam and Bernhard Langer, who defeated Paul Azinger and Payne Stewart.
In fourballs, a margin of 6&5 has been achieved several times for Europe, the first coming during Nick Faldo and Peter Oosterhuis over Andy Bean and Tom Kite. The most recent pair to do it were Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, who beat Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker in 2010.
The biggest margin of victory in the Ryder Cup between Europe and the USA is 8&7, which has been achieved in two singles matches, both won by the USA: Tom Kite versus Howard Clark in 1989, and Fred Couples versus Ian Woosnam in 1997.
History being made
In addition to possible match and scoring records, there is one piece of history set to be made at this year’s Ryder Cup by Viktor Hovland and Bernd Wiesberger.
Both rookies automatically qualified for Team Europe, and will make history as the first players from their respective countries to compete in a Ryder Cup: Hovland from Norway, and Wiesberger from Austria.