Holders Europe have won three Ryder Cups in a row, six of the past seven, eight of the past 10 and 10 of the past 15 events. The United States own a 25-13 lead with two drawn in the overall rivalry. For the first 50 years of competition, from 1927-1977, it was the Americans against Britain and Ireland and the US went 18-3 with one drawn in that span.
English businessman Samuel Ryder donated the gold trophy that bears his name. It was made by English silversmiths Mappin and Webb for the 1927 inaugural matches. Ryder himself presented the trophy to Britain’s George Duncan after the home side’s 1929 victory.
Europe made the greatest last-day comeback in Cup history to retain the trophy in 2012 at Medinah, winning 8½ of 12 possible points from singles matches. It was Germany’s Martin Kaymer who sank the putt that ensured Europe kept the Cup, completing the “Miracle at Medinah.”
United States won two of the tensest Ryder Cups. The 1991 “War on the Shore” at Kiawah Island came down to the United States leading by one point with Hale Irwin playing Germany’s Bernhard Langer in the last singles match. Irwin and Langer were all square entering the 18th hole, which Langer needed to win to capture the singles match and deadlock the team score so Europe could keep the trophy. Langer missed a six-foot par putt and the Americans took the Cup. In the 1999 “Battle of Brookline,” Europe led 10-6 entering the singles but US players rallied for a 14½-13½ triumph. American Justin Leonard holed out a 45-foot birdie putt at the 17th to touch off a wild US celebration even though Spain’s Jose Maria Olazabal had a 22-foot birdie put to halve the hole and extend the drama. Olazabal missed and the Americans finally had reason to celebrate.
Some future venues for the Ryder Cup have already been established. The 2018 edition will be played at Le Golf National in France. The 43rd edition will be played in 2020 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. Italy’s Marco Simone Golf and Country Club hosts the 2022 Ryder Cup and the 2024 edition of the event will be played at Bethpage Black near New York. — AFP