Who has won the most points for Europe at The Ryder Cup?
Since Team Europe was born in in 1979 with stars from across the continent joining the Great Britain and Ireland line up, the biennial contest has witnessed some truly memorable individual performances. But who has won the most points for Europe at The Ryder Cup?
Spain’s Sergio Garcia became the record holder in 2018, moving to 25.5 career points after beating Rickie Fowler 2&1 in the Sunday singles at Le Golf National as Europe secured a stunning 17.5 – 10.5 victory.
Playing in his ninth Ryder Cup, Garcia won three points in Paris – one each day – to surpass Nick Faldo's mark of 25 points and write his name in the history books.
His 1999 debut in the biennial contest was even more emphatic, as ‘El Niño’ kick-started his record-breaking run at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, with three and a half points from five.
The then 19-year-old teamed up with Sweden’s Jesper Parnevik to defeat Tom Lehman and Tiger Woods in his debut foursomes match. The pairing then produced a further two and a half points before the young Spaniard was defeated by Jim Furyk in his first experience of the Sunday singles.
A partnership with Englishman Lee Westwood delivered three points at The Belfry in 2002 as Garcia tasted European glory for the first time. He would go on to feature in six winning sides across his nine appearances in golf’s greatest team event.
His first brush with Ryder Cup history came during one of Europe’s most emphatic victories, at Oakland Hills in 2004. Garcia teamed up with Westwood again to secure one and a half points, and another Englishman in Luke Donald to add two more. He then defeated Phil Mickelson in the singles to add another point to Europe’s 18.5 – 9.5 win and become just the sixth player to take four and a half points from a possible five.
Garcia made his mark once more at The K Club in 2006 as Europe secured victory over the United States by the same margin in consecutive contests. In two matches apiece alongside Donald and countryman José Maria Olazábal he became only the second player after Ian Woosnam to win all four of his foursomes and fourball matches in a single contest.
His lowest points total to date followed in 2008 as the United States won back The Ryder Cup at Valhalla Golf Club. Garcia and Westwood once again teamed up to take a half point against Kenny Perry and Furyk in the day one foursomes, with a further half point delivered alongside Paul Casey in the day two fourballs.
Following a stint as vice captain in 2010, Garcia was back in action in the fabled ‘Miracle of Medinah’ two years later. His point alongside Donald in the day two fourballs against Woods and Steve Stricker came as Europe attempted to stem the tide of the hosts. He added a Sunday singles victory over Furyk as captain Olazábal led Europe to the greatest comeback in Ryder Cup history, overturning a 10-6 United States lead to win 14.5-13.5.
The Spaniard contributed to a third consecutive European victory in 2014, securing one and a half points in the company of Rory McIlroy at Gleneagles, before defeating Furyk once more in the Sunday singles.
His total stood at 22.5 after adding two more points as Europe were defeated at Hazeltine National in 2016, leaving him two and a half points behind Faldo going into that record-breaking week in Paris.
Garcia and debutant Alex Noren got off to a blistering start in Paris, defeating Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau 5&4 in the day one foursomes, before the Spaniard teamed up with fellow Ryder Cup stalwart McIlroy to deliver a further point in the afternoon fourballs.
With just half a point required to equal Faldo’s record, Garcia’s march to history was tempered by defeat to Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson alongside Noren in the day two foursomes. But his place in the history books was assured with that final point against Fowler on Sunday, adding to the European celebrations in full flow around Le Golf National.