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
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Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”

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After 36, new Open favorite is ... Fleetwood

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 7:49 pm

With a handful of the pre-championship favorites exiting early, there is a new odds-on leader entering the third round of The Open at Carnoustie.

While Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner share the 36-hole lead, it's England's Tommy Fleetwood who leads the betting pack at 11/2. Fleetwood begins the third round one shot off the lead.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.

Tommy Fleetwood: 11/2

Zach Johnson: 13/2

Rory McIlroy: 7/1

Jordan Spieth: 8/1

Rickie Fowler: 9/1

Kevin Kisner: 12/1

Xander Schauffele: 16/1

Tony Finau: 16/1

Matt Kuchar: 18/1

Pat Perez: 25/1

Brooks Koepka: 25/1

Erik van Rooyen: 50/1

Alex Noren: 50/1

Tiger Woods: 50/1

Thorbjorn Olesen: 60/1

Danny Willett: 60/1

Francesco Molinari: 60/1

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Perez (T-3) looks to remedy 'terrible' major record

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 7:34 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez’s major record is infinitely forgettable. In 24 Grand Slam starts he has exactly one top-10 finish, more than a decade ago at the PGA Championship.

“Terrible,” Perez said when asked to sum up his major career. “I won sixth [place]. Didn't even break top 5.”

It’s strange, however, that his status atop The Open leaderboard through two rounds doesn’t seem out of character. The 42-year-old admits he doesn’t hit it long enough to contend at most major stops and also concedes he doesn’t exactly have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the game’s biggest events, but something about The Open works for him.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I didn't like it the first time I came over. When I went to St. Andrews in '05, I didn't like it because it was cold and terrible and this and that,” he said. “Over the years, I've really learned to like to come over here. Plus the fans are so awesome here. They know a good shot. They don't laugh at you if you hit a bad shot.”

Perez gave the fans plenty to cheer on Friday at Carnoustie, playing 17 flawless holes to move into a share of the lead before a closing bogey dropped him into a tie for third place after a second-round 68.

For Perez, links golf is the great equalizer that mitigates the advantages some of the younger, more powerful players have and it brings out the best in him.

“It's hard enough that I don't feel like I have to hit perfect shots. That's the best,” he said. “Greens, you can kind of miss a shot, and it won't run off and go off the green 40 yards. You're still kind of on the green. You can have a 60-footer and actually think about making it because of the speed.”