Ryder A-Z

An alphabetical journey through the history of the biennial match

Last Updated: 28/08/12 9:42pm

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Legendary partnership: Seve (R) with Jose Maria Olazabal

Legendary partnership: Seve (R) with Jose Maria Olazabal

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From legendary concessions to hole-in-ones, and explosive quarrels to catwalk wives, we take an alphabetical journey through the history of the biennial matches.


Peter followed his father Percy (1929-37) into GB&I colours in 1953 and holds the European record for most points in a match when he won five out six points in the 1965 match. Tony Jacklin matched this feat in 1969.


It wasn't easy to beat Jack Nicklaus in his pomp. So it certainly wasn't easy to beat him twice in one day. But that is exactly what Barnes did in 1975. On the 1st tee of their afternoon singles, the Golden Bear said: "There ain't no way you're going to beat me again". But after Nicklaus started with two birdies, the Scotsman fought back to win 2&1.


Possibly the most generous act in golf's long history of sportsmanlike behaviour. With the whole (often fractious, see 'E') match dependent on the result of Jack Nicklaus's singles with Tony Jacklin, the American conceded a two-foot putt with the words: "I know you wouldn't have missed it, but I didn't want to give you the opportunity". It was particularly impressive as Jacklin had thrashed Nicklaus 4&3 in the previous day's singles.


Welshman Rees captained GB&I to their historic victory at Lindrick in 1957. He was also undefeated in the 1937 match, has won the second-highest number of singles matches (5) and played in nine matches in total, winning 7.5 points.


The captain of GB&I at Birkdale in 1969, Brown told his players not to look for American balls in the rough. It created a spiky atmosphere between the sides which only calmed down following Nicklaus's concession (see 'C').


The notoriously self-obsessed Englishman holds several European records: the most appearances - 11 (1977-97) - the most matches, 46, and the most points, 25. Neil Coles, however, has won won more singles points than him.


The scene of the first match involving European players, in 1979. The West Virginian club also hosted the 1994 Solheim Cup and has had a long attachment with Tom Watson.


There have only been two halved matches in the event's history - in 1969 (16-16) and 1989 (14-14).


Hale played in five matches, winning 14 points thanks to a fine foursomes record to make him America's eighth highest scorer. He won 4 1/2 points out of 5 in 1975 but is best known for being the opponent of Bernhard Langer in their 1991 singles at Kiawah Island (see 'L').


Tony revitalised the cup when he assumed the captaincy in 1983 and insisted his players be given the best chance of winning by flying to America on Concorde, be issued with the best clothing and generally matched the preparation of the Americans.

K Club

The host of the 2006 matches and the only venue to witness two hole-in-ones: Paul Casey on the second day's foursomes alongside David Howell against Stewart Cink and Zach Johnson and Scott Verplank in the singles against Padraig Harrington. Both were on 14.


With 10 appearances and a flawless performance as captain in 2004, Langer is a European legend. He is also the man who, when given a yardage from a sprinkler head in 2002, asked his caddie if it was from the front of the sprinkler or the back. With such accuracy are Ryder Cups (and Masters) won.

Muirfield Village

America lost in 1985 and couldn't stomach another defeat. So they made Jack Nicklaus captain and played it at his Muirfield Village club. Victory was surely assured. Europe had other ideas though and, packed with future Major champions and the plucky likes of Eamonn Darcy - who was the singles hero - they won for the first time on US soil.


Christy O'Connor (1955-73) and Christy O'Connor Jnr played in 12 Cups between them. Other family ties include Max Faulkner and son-in-law Brian Barnes, brothers Charles, Ernest and Reg Whitcombe as well as brothers Bernard and Geoffrey Hunt and brothers-in-law Per-Ulrik Johansson and Jesper Parnevik plus Lee Westwood and Andrew Coltart.


How many pounds the players get paid for playing in the most pressurised event in golf. Mark O'Meara suggested the players deserved some reward for making the event so popular and lucrative - but no known renumeration is received.


Paul McGinley holed the winning putt but the victory of the unheralded Phil Price against Phil Mickelson was the stand-out result in the 2002 match. It was one of those wins for a Euro underdog against an American superpower that seems more incredible as each year passes.


The Ryder Cup has had its fair share of long-running feuds. Most involved Paul Azinger. The patriotic American fell out with both Ballesteros and Nick Faldo. Faldo's Open win in 1992 over Azinger rankled with him and the American took enormous delight in halving with him to win the 1993 cup. They were great friends compared to 'Zinger' and Seve though. Seve said: "The Americans are 11 nice guys and Paul Azinger." Azinger replied: "The king of gamesmanship doesn't like me? Good."


Samuel Ryder watched the unofficial match in 1926 on Wentworth's East course. The seed merchant from St Albans thought it would be a good idea to make the match official and thus the Ryder Cup was founded, with Ryder donating the trophy.


The man who helped Tony Jacklin turn the Ryder Cup round in Europe's favour. Charismatic, passionate and a great team player, Seve formed the finest partnership in the history of the event with Jose Maria Olazabal. He also won as captain in 1997.

Ten and nine

The biggest ever win achieved by Walter Hagen and Densmore Shute over George Duncan and Arthur Havers in 1931 and by Lew Worsham and Ed Oliver against Sir Henry Cotton and Arthur Lees in 1947.


Some are slick, some are iconic, some are hideous. Because for every classic, 1987 European outfit, there is a 1999 American singles ensemble. And then there's the travelling attire, with the 2006 American side's hunting, shooting and fishing design plumbing previously unreached depths.

Van de Velde

The Frenchman's Ryder Cup record reads played one, lost one... and the loss was a 6&5 defeat in the singles to David Toms at Brookline in 1999.


Always a feature of the matches, especially at the opening ceremony, where the lipstick seems redder, the bouffants seem higher and the skirts seem shorter. Just one question: who will Tiger bring this year?


Brookline 1999. Raucous and OTT. And that was the American players. The fans were, frankly, a disgrace, with Payne Stewart mortified by the actions of his compatriots in his game against Colin Montgomerie. It came to a conclusion, of course, with the 'storming' of the 17th in Jose Maria Olazabal's match with Justin Leonard.

Year's postponement

The September 11 attack on New York caused the 2001 matches to be put back for 12 months. A modest European side won the delayed match, Paul McGinley holing the winning putt.


Stopped America's losing streak with a masterful captaincy performance at Valhalla. Also see Quarrels...

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