A Look Back The History of The Ryder Cup

By Golf Channel NewsroomAugust 10, 2001, 4:00 pm
The first official Ryder Cup took place in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1927, though the idea for a series of matches pitting America against Great Britain has been floating around since 1920. That was the date the PGA of America first officially documented the foundation of the 'Ryder Cup,' as we know it. That group agreed to fund part of the expenses of a transatlantic crossing for the team.
The name 'Ryder' honors Samuel Ryder, a seed merchant from Manchester, England, who agreed to purchase the trophy in '27, along with Golf Illustrated and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club.
James Hartnett, a circulation manager of Golf Illustrated, first broached the idea in 1920, and in 1921 he selected a team of Americans to play the matches against Great Britain at Gleneagles in Scotland. The American golfers had to make the transatlantic trek anyway to play in the Match Play championships, but got whacked solidly in this first-ever team event, 9-3.
In 1926, another unofficial match was arranged prior to the British Open qualifying. Once again, the hosts walloped the Americans, 11 -1 , this time at Wentworth. A seed was born to turn it into a biennial event, and the Ryder Cup matches were born.
The Americans won easily, 9 - 2 , in those first matches in 1927. Jackets and ties, hats with brims, were the order of the day for all competitors. Britain was without its key player, Abe Mitchell, who had his appendix removed, and the team was playing on weary legs after the oceanic journey. The Brits heartily endorsed a return match, which took place in 1929 at Yorkshire, England.
Walter Hagen was the American captain for the second time, and his team was brimming with confidence, especially after leading, 2 -1 , after the first day. But Great Britain won five of the eight singles matches and halved another to win, 7-5. The competition was truly born.
Both teams had won twice, each at home, after the 1933 matches in England. And in 1937 a visiting team finally won. The United States came away with an 8-4 triumph at Southport, England, and a trend was set. America would lose only once in the years preceding 1985. And - there would be no more Ryder Cup for 10 years. World War II got in the way, the conflict taking out the competition until 1947.
Gone by the time the Ryder Cup resumed was Hagen, who captained the American team throughout the pre-World War II years, and Gene Sarazen, the dominant player. Only Sam Snead and Byron Nelson played for the Americans both in the 1937 finale and in 1947 when the matches were resumed. And the U.S. had a couple of impressive newcomers, Ben Hogan and Jimmy Demaret. Together, they kept America in the forefront in the post-war era.
Britain's lone win was in 1957 at Lindrick in England. Coming from behind to win six of the eight singles matches and half another, the British would interrupt a series of seven unsuccessful attempts to win the Cup. The chastened Yanks won back the trophy in 1959, 8 -3 , even though such stalwarts as Arnold Palmer, Billy Casper, Ken Venturi and Gene Littler did not yet satisfy rules for inclusion which the PGA of America had in place at the time.
The format was changed in 1961 to include eight foursomes matches and sixteen singles, but the result remained the same - an American victory. And in 1963, the last playing captain roamed the course - Palmer. A third day was added, but it served only to heighten the American advantage.
The one-sided nature of the matches continued to 1979, when the Great Britain-Ireland team was opened up to include the whole continent of Europe. Parity was just around the corner, with Seve Ballesteros and Antonio Garrido joining the team from Spain. The next time around Bernhard Langer and Manuel Pinero were included. That bunch joined Nick Faldo, Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam to make a hardened European team, and in 1983 they very nearly was victorious. The Americans won by the narrowest of margins in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., 14 -13 . The difference was a brilliant pitch by Lanny Wadkins, which died just 18 inches from the cup in his singles match against Jose Maria Canizares.
'It was the most pressure that I have ever felt in making one shot,' Wadkins would later say.
In 1985, playing for the first time at The Belfry near Birmingham, England, Europe finally broke the long losing skein. Winning for the first time in 28 years, Europe featured five players born in the same year - 1957. The home side won in the seventh singles match, Sam Torrance defeating Andy North, and the Americans were sent home, beaten 16 -11 .
In got worse in 1987, when a youngster named Jose Maria Olazabal joined the Europeans and they won for the first time ever on American soil. Playing at Muirfield Village outside Columbus, Ohio, the home of U.S. captain Jack Nicklaus, the visitors stunned the Yanks with a 15-13 win.
Now the Ryder Cup field was truly level. Since 1985, Europe has won four times and America four times, the finale coming in 1999 with Justin Leonard sinking a monster putt on the 17th green against Olazabal to complete an unbelievable U.S. comeback.
Now the series is set to tee off in a new millennium with the 2001 matches. The Americans, with Curtis Strange at the helm, will battle once again at the Belfry against Europe, with Sam Torrance as captain.
Full Coverage of the 34th Ryder Cup Matches
Rory McIlroy at the 2018 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Getty Images

McIlroy making big statement in first start of 2018

By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 3:40 pm

Rory McIlroy marched the fairways of Abu Dhabi Golf Club Saturday with that fighter pilot stride of his, with that confident little bob in his step that you see when he is in command of his full arsenal of shots.

So much for easing into the new year.

So much for working off rust and treating these first few months of 2018 as a warmup for the Masters and his bid to complete the career Grand Slam.

McIlroy, 28, is poised to announce his return to golf in spectacular fashion Sunday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

With back-to-back birdies to close his round, McIlroy put up a 7-under-par 65, leaving him just one shot off the lead going into the final round.

“It’s good,” McIlroy said. “I probably scored a bit better today, short game was needed as well, but I hit the ball very well, so all in all it was another great round and confidence builder, not just for this week but obviously for the rest of the season as well.”

McIlroy can make a strong statement with a win Sunday.

If he claims the title in his first start of the year, he sends a message about leaving all the woes of 2017 behind him. He sends a message about his fitness after a nagging rib injury plagued him all of last year. He sends a message about his readiness to reassert himself as the game’s best player in a world suddenly teeming with towering young talent.

After his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro, McIlroy is eager to show himself, as well as everyone else, that he is ready to challenge for major championships and the world No. 1 title again.

“It feels like awhile since I’ve won,” McIlroy said. “I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.”

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

A victory would be all the more meaningful because the week started with McIlroy paired with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and reigning European Tour Player of the Year Tommy Fleetwood.

McIlroy acknowledged the meaning of that going into Saturday’s round.

“That proves I’m back to full fitness and 100 percent healthy,” he said. “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now and one of, if not the best, drivers of the golf ball, and to be up there with him over the first two days proves to me I’m doing the right things and gives me confidence.”

It’s worth repeating what 2008 Masters champ Trevor Immelman said last month about pairings and the alpha-dog nature of the world’s best players. He was talking about Tiger Woods’ return at the Hero World Challenge, when Immelman said pairings matter, even in off season events.

“When you are the elite level, you are always trying to send a message,” Immelman said. “They want to show this guy, `This is what I got.’”

A victory with Johnson in the field just two weeks after Johnson won the Sentry Tournament of Champions in an eight-shot rout will get the attention of all the elite players.

A victory also sets this up as a January for the ages, making it the kind of big-bang start the game has struggled to create in the shadow of the NFL playoffs.

Johnson put on tour-de-force performance winning in Hawaii, the confident young Spaniard Jon Rahm is just a shot off the lead this week at the CareerBuilders Challenge on the PGA Tour. Sergio Garcia is just two off the lead going into the final round of the Singapore Open. Tiger Woods makes his return to the PGA Tour at Torrey Pines next week.

To be sure, McIlroy has a lot of work to do Sunday.

Yet another rising young talent, Thomas Pieters, shares the lead with Ross Fisher. Fleetwood is just two shots back and Johnson five back.

McIlroy has such a good history at Abu Dhabi. Over the last seven years, he has finished second four times and third twice. Still, even a strong finish that falls short of winning bodes well for McIlroy in his first start of the year.

“I have never won my first start back out,” McIlroy said.

A strong start, whether he wins or not, sets McIlroy up well for the ambitious schedule he plans for 2018. He’s also scheduled to play the Dubai Desert Classic next with the possibility he’ll play 30 times this year, two more events than he’s ever played in a year.

“I’m just really getting my golf head back on,” McIlroy said. “I’ve been really pleased with that.”

A victory Sunday will make all our heads spin a little b it with the exciting possibilities the game offers this year.

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Garcia 2 back in weather-delayed Singapore Open

By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 3:06 pm

SINGAPORE - Danthai Boonma and Chapchai Nirat built a two-stroke lead over a chasing pack that includes Sergio Garcia and Ryo Ishikawa midway through the third round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open on Saturday.

The Thai golfers were locked together at 9 under when play was suspended at the Sentosa Golf Club for the third day in a row because of lightning strikes in the area.

Masters champion Garcia and former teen prodigy Ishikawa were among seven players leading the chase at 7 under on a heavily congested leaderboard.

Garcia, one of 78 players who returned to the course just after dawn to complete their second rounds, was on the 10th hole of his third round when the warning siren was sounded to abruptly end play for the day.

''Let's see if we can finish the round, that will be nice,'' he said. ''But I think if I can play 4-under I should have a chance.''

The Spanish golfer credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his first major championship title at Augusta National because of the stifling humidity of southeast Asia and the testing stop-start nature of the tournament.

Full-field scores from the Singapore Open

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore in 2017, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the subsequent week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later. He is feeling confident of his chances of success this weekend.

''I felt like I hit the ball OK,'' Garcia said. ''My putting and all went great but my speed hasn't been great on this green so let's see if I can be a little more aggressive on the rounds this weekend.''

Ishikawa moved into a share of the lead at the halfway stage after firing a second round of 5-under 66 that featured eight birdies. He birdied the first two holes of his third round to grab the outright lead but slipped back with a double-bogey at the tricky third hole for the third day in a row. He dropped another shot at the par-5 sixth when he drove into a fairway bunker.

''It was a short night but I had a good sleep and just putted well,'' Ishikawa said. The ''greens are a little quicker than yesterday but I still figured (out) that speed.

Ishikawa was thrust into the spotlight more than a decade ago. In 2007, he became the youngest player to win on any of the major tours in the world. He was a 15-year-old amateur when he won the Munsingwear Open KSB Cup.

He turned pro at 16, first played in the Masters when he was 17 and the Presidents Cup when he was 18. He shot 58 in the final round to win The Crowns in Japan when he was 19.

Now 26, Ishikawa has struggled with injuries and form in recent years. He lost his PGA Tour card and hasn't played in any of the majors since 2015. He has won 15 times as a professional, but has never won outside his homeland of Japan.

Chapchai was able to sleep in and put his feet up on Saturday morning after he completed his second round on Friday.

He bogeyed the third but reeled off three birdies in his next four holes to reach 9-under with the back nine still to play.

Danthai was tied for 12th at the halfway stage but charged into a share of the lead with seven birdies in the first 15 holes of his penultimate round.

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McIlroy (65) one back in Abu Dhabi through 54

By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 1:09 pm

Rory McIlroy moved into position to send a powerful message in his first start of the new year at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Closing out with back-to-back birdies Saturday, McIlroy posted a 7-under-par 65, leaving him poised to announce his return to golf in spectacular fashion after a winless year in 2017.

McIlroy heads into Sunday just a single shot behind the leaders, Thomas Pieters (67) and Ross Fisher (65), who are at 17-under overall at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

Making his first start after taking three-and-a-half months off to regroup from an injury-riddled year, McIlroy is looking sharp in his bid to win for the first time in 16 months. He chipped in for birdie from 50 feet at the 17th on Saturday and two-putted from 60 feet for another birdie to finish his round.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy took 50 holes before making a bogey in Abu Dhabi. He pushed his tee shot into a greenside bunker at the 15th, where he left a delicate play in the bunker, then barely blasted his third out before holing a 15-footer for bogey.

McIlroy notably opened the tournament playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, who started the new year winning the PGA Tour’s Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii in an eight-shot rout just two weeks ago. McIlroy was grouped in the first two rounds with Johnson and Tommy Fleetwood, the European Tour’s Player of the Year last season. McIlroy sits ahead of both of them going into the final round, with Johnson (68) tied for 12th, five shots back, and Fleetwood (67) tied for fourth, two shots back.

Those first two rounds left McIlroy feeling good about his off season work.

“That proves I’m back to full fitness and 100 percent health,” he said going into Saturday. “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now and of, if not the best, drivers of the golf ball, and to be up there with him over the first two days proves to me I’m doing the right things and gives me confidence.”

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Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''

Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''