Building a World Class Team: Ryder Cup, brought to you by Standard Life

Building a World Class Team: Ryder Cup

Now that the majors season is upon us, United States captain Tom Watson's 2014 Ryder Cup team will begin to take shape in earnest. Because players will earn double Ryder Cup points at the four 2014 majors -- the Masters, the U.S. Open, the Open Championship and the PGA Championship -- a solid finish or win in any or all of them could make a big difference in their bid for one of nine automatic spots.

Of course, Watson will be paying closer attention at the majors because seeing how players perform in the most pressure-packed events will play a big part in his evaluation process to determine his three captain's picks following the PGA Championship in August, along with when it comes time for him to make up his pairings.

In this 12-part series brought to you by Standard Life Investments, we look at the importance of world-class teamwork, individual preparation and collective forward thinking.

Team Europe: 2012

European players wore the image of Seve Ballesteros on their sleeves, had his silhouette embroidered on their golf bags, and played with his legendary passion to match the greatest comeback in Ryder Cup history.

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Team USA: 1971

Captain Jay Hebert was able to mix four Ryder Cup rookies into a veteran lineup of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Billy Casper and Lee Trevino to hold off a tenacious challenge from Great Britain & Ireland.

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Team USA: 1999

As the 1999 United States Ryder Cup squad proved in their amazing comeback at Brookline, emotion and momentum can overcome any deficit.

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Team USA: 1975

The 1975 United States Ryder Cup squad was perhaps the deepest, most experienced and most veteran group ever assembled in the history of the event. And they played up to their potential, leveling Great Britain and Ireland, 21-11.

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Team USA: 1969

As their match went down to the final putt, Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin set the stage for one of the most remarkable finishes in Ryder Cup history, and brought sportsmanship to the forefront.

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Team USA: 2008

When it came time for captain Paul Azinger to make his picks, he had no idea who would make the squad. So he shook things up a bit and went with a 'pod' system to help fill the final spots.

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Team Europe: 1985

Coming within a point of victory on U.S. soil two years earlier, the cards were tipping into Europe’s favor as it prepared to host the first of what would be four visits by the Ryder Cup to The Belfry in Sutton Coldfield, England.

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Team USA: 1991

During Dave Stockton’s journey to Captain the 1991 United States Ryder Cup Team, his boldness was the headline after America failed to retain the trophy from 1985 through 1989.

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Team USA: 1993

To achieve any success, a team must have a solid focus and make sacrifices. The United States Ryder Cup Team in 1993 had a balance of both as it faced Europe for the third time at The Belfry’s Brabazon Course in Sutton Coldfield, England.

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Team USA: 1963

The 1963 U.S. Team had to find a way to win without Jack Nicklaus, perhaps the best American golfer at that time. But Arnold Palmer, who would become the last playing captain on either side, was simply fantastic, going 3–1 in pairs and 1–1 in singles. And four U.S. Ryder Cup rookies also played steller golf to help Team USA to the win.

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Team USA: 1935

The best teams are often comprised of the best and most talented individuals. It's safe to assume that back in 1935, no one argued that the best and most talented players of their time made up two of the best Ryder Cup teams of all time.

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Team Europe: 1987

Great teamwork within a team can often mean the difference between success and failure. Such was the case in September of 1987, when stellar partnerships and near-perfect play within the European Team propelled it to a historic performance at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.

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