The 41st edition of the most prestigious team golf competition in the world, Ryder Cup 2016, will be held from the 30th of September to the 2nd of October 2016 at the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota in the United States. As the best golfers from Europe and United States battle it out we look back at arguably the five greatest moments in Ryder Cup history.
- 1969 – Royal Birkdale GC Southport, England One of the closest contests in Ryder Cup history ended with probably one of the greatest sporting gestures in golf. It came down to the final green, in the final singles match between golf legend, Jack Nicklaus, playing in his first Ryder Cup, and future European captain Tony Jacklin. With Jacklin needing a two-foot putt to tie the match, Nicklaus conceded the hole thus tying the rubber and leaving the two teams drawn at 16 points each. “I didn’t think you were going to miss that putt, but I didn’t want to give you the opportunity,” were Nicklaus’s words to Jacklin. Here’s a video of the great “concession”:
- 1985 – The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, England The 1969 competition aside, the United States had maintained a firm grasp on the Ryder Cup since 1959. This was to change at the 1985 Ryder Cup. A superlative performance by the Spanish duo Manuel Pinero and Ballesteros was capped by Scotsman Sam Torrance, whose nearly 20-foot putt on the 18th hole led to his victory over US Open champion Andy North and the Ryder Cup returning to Europe. Here is a video of the highlights of the 1985 competition:
- 1991 – The Ocean Course, Kiawah Island, SC, USA The “War on the Shore”, in reference to the Gulf War, the 1991 competition was one of the closest ever. With the momentum swinging back forth over three days it came down to German Berhard Langer, who had to hole a six-footer for par to claim victory over his opponent Hale Irwin. Langer missed and the United States scraped through with a one point victory. Here is a video of the final hole from the Langer – Irwin match:
- 1999 – The Country Club, Brookline, MA, USA The United States reclaimed the Ryder Cup in 1999 by mounting one of the greatest comebacks in the competition though the ending left the Europeans rightfully miffed. From being 10-6 down after the first two days, the American team fought back on the last day and it came down to the final hole between Justin Leonard and Jose Maria Olazabal. Leonard holed a 45-footer putt and despite Olazabal having a final shot to play the Americans stormed the green. The Spaniard ended up missing and United States claimed victory. Here’s a review of the 1999 edition of the competition:
- 2012 – Medinah Country Club, Medinah, IL, USA Europe outdid the American effort of 1999 by coming back from 10-4 down (the score at one point on Saturday) to win by a point on the final day of the competition. Dubbed the “Miracle in Medinah” by the media, the victory was Europe’s fifth in the last six editions of the competition. After Ian Poulter’s efforts on the second day the entire European team dug in on the final day and German Martin Keymar’s six-footer putt to seal victory over Steve Stricker allowed them to retain the Ryder Cup one more time. Here’s a review of Ryder Cup 2012 to help you relive the tension and excitement of those three days:
You can purchase official tickets to Ryder Cup 2016 here.
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