Ryd-ing high

As Europe bid to retain the Ryder Cup in Chicago, Mark Kendall looks at the top ten players from this side of The Pond to contribute the most points to the European cause...

Last Updated: 28/09/12 11:17am

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1. Nick Faldo (25 points)

Europe's all-time leading scorer, Faldo was a bona fide Ryder Cup great who featured in 11 matches and no fewer than 46 games. Amongst many memorable moments, Faldo's singles win over Curtis Strange at Oak Hill in 1995 stands out, the Englishman coming from behind to clinch victory on the final hole as Europe sneaked home by one point.

2. Bernhard Langer (24 points)

A real team man, Langer featured with countless partners during his 10-match Ryder Cup career. He only lost three of his ten singles encounters although, despite his impeccable record, his most famous Ryder Cup moment is always likely to be the missed putt against Hale Irwin at Kiawah Island in 1991 which saw America regain the trophy.

3. Colin Montgomerie (23.5 points)

The Scot became a real talisman for Europe in the Ryder Cup. Always a target for the US fans, Montgomerie maintained a proud record of never losing in a singles match in his eight appearances, winning six and halving two during a highly-distinguished career in the event.

4. Seve Ballesteros (22.5 points)

The man that did more for European golf and the popularity of the Ryder Cup than any other. The Spaniard played in eight matches and emerged victorious on four occasions, forming a legendary partnership with Jose Maria Olazabal. But arguably his defining moment was captaining Europe to victory at Valderrama in 1997.

5. Jose Maria Olazabal (20.5 points)

As mentioned above, the Spaniard formed a formidable alliance with Seve and then with another compatriot in Sergio Garcia and was always at his best in the pairs formats. His victory dance at Muirfield Village on debut in 1987 alone was probably enough to ensure he went down in Ryder Cup folklore.

6. Lee Westwood (19 points)

The 39-year-old Englishman is already a veteran of seven matches and, in arguably the form of his life, has made it clear he has designs on surpassing Faldo and becoming Europe's all-time leading scorer. Unflappable and ever-reliable, Westwood crosses the generations having partnered everyone from Faldo to Kaymer.

7. Tony Jacklin (17 points)

Despite playing at a time of almost total US dominance in the days before mainland Europe joined the party, Jacklin still boasts a proud record. Undoubtedly his most famous moment came at Birkdale in 1969 when he halved in the singles with Jack Nicklaus after the American's supreme gesture of conceding his rival's final putt.

8. Ian Woosnam (16.5 points)

Plucky, courageous and indefatigable of spirit, Woosnam was the ideal Ryder Cup man. The Welshman made eight appearances as a player and, amongst others, formed a strong partnership with Faldo during that time, although he never managed to win any of his eight singles matches.

9. Sergio Garcia (16 points)

Like fellow Spaniards Ballesteros and Olazabal, Garcia proved a Ryder Cup natural. Vocal both on and off the course, his flair and commitment to cause inspires those around him with 'El Nino' forging strong pairings with the likes of Jesper Parnevik, Olazabal and Westwood. The 32-year-old will be out to boost his tally at Medinah.

10. Coles, Oosterhuis and Gallacher (15.5 points)

Three men share joint-tenth place in the list, Englishmen Neil Coles and Peter Oosterhuis and Bernhard Gallacher of Scotland all amassing 15.5 points during their Ryder Cup careers.

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