Who has won the most foursomes points for Europe at The Ryder Cup?
The Ryder Cup throws up plenty of unique challenges for the stars of world golf, but hitting alternate shots with a playing partner in foursomes is arguably the biggest test of all for players who are accustomed to playing and planning for every single shot themselves.
But which player has won the most foursomes points for Europe at The Ryder Cup?
Bernhard Langer is the player with the most foursomes points for Europe at The Ryder Cup, with 11.5 points.
The German has played in ten Ryder Cups between 1981 and 2002, one off Nick Faldo’s record of 11, and has competed in 42 matches overall – four off Faldo’s record total of 46 matches played.
Of those 42 matches, 18 of those have been foursomes matches. In his first Ryder Cup appearance in 1981 at Walton Heath, England, Langer did not pick up a single point in two foursomes matches alongside Manuel Piñero – he did, however, pick up a half point in the singles, halving his match with Bruce Lietzke as Europe were defeated 18.5 – 9.5 by the USA.
Langer teed it up in the very first match of the The 1983 Ryder Cup at PGA National Golf Club, Florida, alongside Sandy Lyle, but they were defeated by the foursomes pairing of Tom Watson and Ben Crenshaw. The German finally picked up his first foursomes point the following day alongside Nick Faldo, defeating Ben Crenshaw and Calvin Peete.
Langer went on to beat Gil Morgan in the singles as Europe came close to picking up its first Ryder Cup win on American soil, losing out on a scoreline of 14.5 – 13.5.
Langer picked up one point in two foursomes matches at The 1985 Ryder Cup, winning his day two foursomes match 3&2 alongside Ken Brown against Ray Floyd & Lanny Wadkins, having been defeated 3&2 in the day one foursomes match - alongside Nick Faldo – by Calvin Peete and Tom Kite. Langer beat Hal Sutton in his singles match as Europe beat USA 16.5 – 11.5 at The Belfry.
His partnership with Brown was not quite as successful at the next time of asking, the duo defeated 2&1 in the day one foursomes by Hal Sutton and Dan Pohl at The 1987 Ryder Cup, but he did win his day two foursomes matches alongside Sandy Lyle – defeating Lanny Wadkins and Larry Nelson 2&1. Langer halved his singles match with Larry Nelson as Europe defeated USA 15 – 13 at Muirfield Village in Ohio.
At The 1989 Ryder Cup, Langer and Ronan Rafferty were defeated 2&1 in the day one foursomes by Mark Calcavecchia and Ken Green – Langer’s only foursomes match of the tournament at The Belfry, England. Langer was beaten in the singles by Chip Beck but Europe retained the trophy thanks to a 14 – 14 tie with the USA.
Langer once again played just one foursomes match at The 1991 Ryder Cup at Kiawah Island, on day one alongside Mark James. They were defeated 2&1 by the USA’s Fred Couples and Raymond Floyd. Langer halved his singles match with Hale Irwin as Europe were beaten 14.5 – 13.5 by the USA.
Two years later at The Belfry, Langer formed a strong partnership with Ian Woosnam as they picked up two points from two foursomes matches, beating Payne Stewart and Paul Azinger 7&5 in the day one foursomes and then overcoming Azinger and Fred Couples 2&1 in the day two foursomes.
They would be Langer’s only two points from four matches in the 1993 edition as USA beat Europe 15 – 13.
Langer’s strength at Ryder Cup foursomes was really starting to show and, at Oak Hill in 1995, he once again picked up his only two points from four matches in the foursomes – first alongside Per-Ulrich Johansson as they beat Ben Crenshaw and Curtis Strange 1up on day one, and then alongside David Gilford as that duo beat Tom Lehman and Corey Pavin 4&3 on day two.
Europe mounted a stunning comeback on the final day to beat the USA 14.5 – 13.5 on American soil.
At The 1997 Ryder Cup in Valderrama, Langer formed a deadly foursomes partnership with fellow European Tour legend Colin Montgomerie, the duo picking up two points from two in the alternate shot format, beating Mark O’Meara and Tiger Woods 5&3 on day one and overcoming Lee Janzen and Jim Furyk 1up on day two.
Langer would win his singles match against Brad Faxon as Europe famously triumphed 14.5 – 13.5 under the captainship of the late, great Seve Ballesteros.
That Langer-Montgomerie duo would reform to devastating effect once again at The 2002 Ryder Cup as they picked up two and a half points from three matches playing together – halving their day one foursomes match against Phil Mickelson and David Toms, and winning their day two Foursomes match 1up against Scott Verplank and Scott Hoch.
Langer would beat Hal Sutton in the singles as Europe won 15.5 – 12.5.
That triumph would prove a glorious swansong in Langer’s Ryder Cup playing career and two years later, we would captain Europe to a remarkable 18.5 – 9.5 triumph over the USA on American soil at Oakland Hills, Europe’s largest margin of victory in the history of the event.
A true Ryder Cup hero.