Ryder Cup: Top 3 Team Europe Moments
The Ryder Cup is almost here, and we've compiled a list of our top 3 Team Europe moments to help you get into the mood for another hotly-contested competition. Share this article and let us know your favourite moments in Ryder Cup history.
Continental Europe was allowed to compete for the first time
Date: September 14–16
Location: Greenbrier Course of The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
Held at the Greenbrier Course in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, the 1979 Ryder Cup ushered in a new era when it allowed players from continental Europe to take part in the competition for the first time. This meant that some of the biggest names in golf such as Seve Ballesteros and Antonio Garrido were finally able to participate.
Great Britain and Ireland was replaced with Team Europe as the official opposition to the United States, with the hope being this new allegiance would be strong enough to end America’s dominance which had reigned since the end of the Second World War.
However, the change made little difference initially and Team Europe was easily beaten by the United States with a final score of 17 to 11 points. Ballesteros and Garrido played together in all four team sessions but both lost their singles matches on Sunday. All four of Ballesteros' losses came against Larry Nelson.
The 1979 event was also famous for being the first event which Jack Nicklaus failed to make the team, and Tom Watson also missed out due to the birth of his first child.
Europe won the Ryder Cup for the first time in 28 years.
Date: 13–15 September
Location: Brabazon Course of The Belfry in Wishaw, Warwickshire, England.
The 26th Ryder Cup is memorable for many reasons, but none more so than it being the first time Team Europe tasted victory against the United States.
The event was held at The Belfry in Wishaw, Warwickshire, England and Team Europe put on a stunning display to finally win the competition for the very first time with a final score of 16½ to 11½ points. This marked the first United States loss since 1957 and sent shockwaves through the sport.
Europe took a deserved two-point lead into Sunday singles, with Sam Torrance securing the victory when he holed a 22-foot putt on the 18th to defeat Andy North 1 up and go up 14½ to 8½, a six-point margin with five matches on the course.
The 1985 Ryder Cup was also the last one not to be shown live on television in the United States, as shortly after the competition ended cable television was introduced to the country.
Miracle at Medinah
Date: September 28–30
Location: Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois
On September 28-30, 2012, the 39th Ryder Cup was contested in the United States at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois. It was the first time the Ryder Cup had ever been hosted in that state and the contest would go down in history as one of the most incredible golfing comebacks of all time.
Europe went into the event as the cup holders having won the previous battle in 2010, but the US were in no mood to play games and took a commanding lead heading into the final day of 10–6 and required 4½ points to win. Europe needed 8 points to bring the Ryder Cup back home, but knew it was an insurmountable task.
However, in what has since been coined ‘The Miracle in Medinah’, Europe achieved one of – if not the greatest – comebacks in Ryder Cup history by winning eight and tying one of the 12 singles matches. Martin Kaymer's amazing five-foot putt on the 18th hole to defeat Steve Stricker took the score to 14–13, which allowed Europe to retain the cup with one match still being played.
With the tide well and truly turned, the United States team began to lose their composure on the greens. Tiger Woods missed a putt on the final hole before conceding to Francesco Molinari, halving the point and securing outright victory for the European team 14½–13½. European media covering the event named the spectacle The Miracle at Medinah.
The victory was Europe’s second in a row and fifth in the last six contests. In a sign of great respect, European Captain José María Olazábal dedicated the victory to the late Seve Ballesteros.