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The Ryder Cup - Match history & records 1927 - 2012

Samuel RyderThe origins of the Ryder Cup date back to two unofficial matches in 1921 and 1926, when a group of American professionals, including Walter Hagen, who had made the long sea journey across the Atlantic to play in other events, took on their British counterparts at Gleneagles and Wentworth for an informal game.

Samuel Ryder, a keen amateur golfer who had made his fortune selling penny seed packets in England, was a spectator at Wentworth in 1926, watching his friend and personal golf coach Abe Mitchell and George Duncan play their match (which the American team won by 13 1/2 points to 1 1/2 - revenge for their 9-3 defeat five years earlier at Gleneagles).

Ryder enjoyed the matches so much that, during tea afterwards with Mitchell, Duncan and Hagen, when Duncan suggested that Ryder provide a trophy and sponsor regular matches between the nations, Ryder readily agreed, adding "I will give £5 to each of the winning players, and give a party afterwards, with champagne and chicken sandwiches." He commissioned the gold cup (which cost £250 from Mappin & Webb in London), using the likeness of his friend Mitchell on the lid, and the first official match took place in June 1927 at Worcester CC in Massachussets, after Ryder had also contributed £500 to a £3000 fund to finance the first British team's travel and expenses.

Ryder died suddenly in 1936 at the age of 77, and was buried with his favourite mashie (five-iron). According to his daughter Joan, he never ceased to be amazed at the success of his matches, and the importance they had assumed: "He had the idea that when the Americans came over for a match, he would give a small friendly lunch party to both teams."

Match score/most team victories :
In the 39 matches to date the score is:
USA - 25 wins : GB&I/Europe - 12 wins
There have been 2 ties, in 1969 (the USA therefore retained the Cup) and 1989 (Europe retained the Cup).
Note: GB&I have 3 wins and Europe have 9. Since Europe replaced GB&I in 1979, they have won 9 of the 17 matches played, with the US winning 7 and one tie. Europe have won four of the last five.

Widest team margin of victory:
2004 & 2006: Europe 18½ - USA 9½
1967: USA 23½ - GB&I 8½
1947: USA 11 - GB&I 1
Note: The total number of points available has varied over the years with the changing formats. Click here for more details.

Consecutive team victories:
USA: 7 wins ( 1935 to 1955 & 1971 to 1983)
Europe: 3 wins (2002 to 2006)

Team points won:
Overall: USA 503 - GB&I/Europe 397
Foursomes: USA 144½ - GB&I/Europe 112½
Fourballs: USA 103½ - GB&I/Europe 93½
Singles: USA 255 - GB&I/Europe 191

Team whitewashes:
No team has ever failed to score a point in a match, although GB&I were beaten 11-1 in 1947.
No team has ever swept all the singles matches.
The USA has four times swept a foursomes series 4-0, in 1947 (one series only, over 36 holes), in 1963 (second series), 1975 (first series) and 1981 (second series). Europe has never won all four foursomes matches in a series.
The USA has twice swept a fourball series 4-0, each time in the first series of matches: 1967, 1971. Europe has also had two fourball clean sweeps, also in the first series, in 1987 and 1989.

Oldest player :
1993: Raymond Floyd (USA) - 51y, 20 days
2004: Jay Haas (USA) - 50y, 9m, 15 days
1927: Ted Ray (GB&I) - 50y, 2m, 5 days
Note: These are the only players in their 50s to have taken part.

Youngest player :
1999: Sergio Garcia (Eur) - 19y, 8m, 15 days
Note: Nick Faldo (1977), Paul Way (1983), Bernard Gallacher (1969) and Ken Brown (1977) all played for GB&I in their 21st year. The youngest USA players have been Horton Smith (21y 4 days in 1929) and Tiger Woods (21y, 8m, 27 days in 1997). Garcia remains the only teenager ever to have played.

Most individual appearances :
11 - Nick Faldo (GB&I/Europe): 1977-'79-'81-'83-'85-'87-'89-'91-'93-'95-'97 (consecutive)
10 - Christy O'Connor Snr (GB&I): 1955-'57-'59-'61-'63-'65-'67-'69-'71-'73 (consecutive)
10 - Bernhard Langer ((Europe): 1981-'83-'85-'87-'89-'91-'93-'95-'97-'02
9 - Dai Rees (GB&I): 1937-'47-'49-'51-'53-'55-'57-'59-'61
Note: For the USA, three players have appeared 8 times - Lanny Wadkins ('77-'79-'83-'85-'87-'89-'91-'93), Raymond Floyd ('69-'75-'77-'81-'83-'85-'91-'93) and Billy Casper ('61-'63-'65-'67-'69-'71-'73-'75).

Most matches played:
45 - Nick Faldo (GB&I/Europe: Won 23, Lost 19, Halved 4)
42 - Berhard Langer (Europe: W21, L15, H6)
40 - Neil Coles (GB&I: W12, L21, H7)
37 - Seve Ballesteros (Europe: W20, L12, H5), Billy Casper (USA)
36 - Christy O'Connor Snr (GB&I: W11, L21, H4), Colin Montgomerie (Europe: W20, L9, H7)
35 - Tony Jacklin (GB&I/Europe: W13, L14, H8)
34 - Lanny Wadkins (USA)
32 - Arnold Palmer (USA)
31 - Bernard Gallacher (GB&I/Europe: W13, L13, H5), Ian Woosnam (Europe: W14, L12, H5), Raymond Floyd (USA)
30 - Peter Alliss (GB&I: W10, L15, H5), Lee Trevino (USA)

Most individual career points:
25 - Nick Faldo (GB&I/Europe: Singles 6½, Foursomes 11, Fourballs 7½)
24 - Bernhard Langer (Europe: Singles 5½, Foursomes 11½, Fourballs 7)
23½ - Colin Montgomerie (Europe: Singles 7, Foursomes 9½, Fourballs 7), Billy Casper (USA:)
23 - Arnold Palmer (USA)
22½ - Seve Ballesteros (Europe: Singles 3, Foursomes 10½, Fourballs 9)
21½ - Lanny Wadkins (USA)
20½ - José Maria Olazábal (Europe: Singles 2½, Foursomes 7½, Fourballs 10½)
20 - Lee Trevino (USA)

Most foursomes points won:
11½ - Bernhard Langer (Europe)
11 - Nick Faldo (GB&I/Europe)
10½ - Seve Ballesteros (Europe)
10 - Tony Jacklin (GB&I/Europe)
9 - Lanny Wadkins (USA), Arnold Palmer (USA), Billy Casper (USA)

Most fourball points won:
10½ - José Maria Olazábal (Europe), Ian Woosnam (Europe)
9 - Seve Ballesteros (Europe)
7½ - Nick FAldo (GB&I/Europe), Lanny Wadkins (USA), Billy Casper (USA)

Most singles points won:
7 - Neil Coles (GB&I), Arnold Palmer (USA), Billy Casper (USA), Lee Trevino (USA)
6½ - Nick Faldo (GB&I/Europe), Peter Oosterhuis (GB&I/Europe), Peter Alliss (GB&I), Gene Littler (USA)
6 - Bernard Gallacher (GB&I/Europe), Tom Kite (USA), Sam Snead (USA)

100% career Ryder Cup record :
Jimmy Demaret (USA, 1947-'49-'51) - Played 6, won 6
Billy Maxwell (USA, 1963) - Played 4, won 4
Note: Three USA players have played 3, won 3 records: Johnny Golden (1927-'29), Billy Burke (1931-'33) and Ben Hogan (1947-'51). The best GB&I/Europe 100% records are played 2, won 2 by John Jacobs (1955) and Paul Broadhurst (1991).
The great Ben Hogan also has another 100% recorrd to his name. Not only did he win all his three matches as a player (in 1947 and 1951), but he won all three matches that he captained, in 1947, 1949 and 1967.

Most points in a single match:
5 out of a possible 5 - Arnold Palmer (USA, 1967), Gardner Dickinson (USA, 1967), Larry Nelson (USA, 1979)
5 out of a possible 6 - Peter Alliss (GB&I, 1965), Tony Lema (USA, 1965), Tony Jacklin (GB&I, 1969), Jack Nicklaus (USA, 1971)

100% record in a single match:
5 out of 5 - Arnold Palmer (USA, 1977), Larry Nelson (USA, 1979)
4 out of 4 - Billy Maxwell (USA, 1963), Johnny Pott ((USA, 1967), JC Snead (USA, 1971), Tom Weiskopf (USA, 1975), Lee Trevino (USA, 1981), Larry Nelson (USA, 1981), Jack Nicklaus (USA, 1981)
3 out of 3 - Art Wall (USA, 1961), Billy Casper (USA, 1961), Gene Littler (USA, 1969), Lanny Wadkins (USA, 1977), Peter Oosterhuis (GB&I, 1977), Nick faldo (GB&I, 1977), Phil Mickelson (USA, 1995), Darren Clarke (Europe, 2006), Luke Donald (Europe, 2006), José Maria Olazábal (Europe, 2006)

Unbeaten players in a single match:
5 wins, 1 half - Tony Jacklin (GB&I, 1969)
Note: Jacklin's half was in the famous closing singles match with Jack Nicklaus (whom he had already beaten in the morning singles by 4&3), when they came to the 18th all square and the entire match all square at 15½ points apiece. After Nicklaus had made his par 4 and ensured that the USA could not lose the match (they had won the Cup in 1967), Jacklin had a 2-footer for the half in both his singles and the whole match. Nicklaus conceded the putt, one of the great sporting gestures of all time, with the words "I don't think you would have missed that putt, but in these cicumstances I would never give you the opportunity". Nicklaus is also said to have asked Jacklin as they walked off the 18th tee, "How do you feel, Tony?", to which Jacklin replied "Bloody awful!". Nicklaus answered with " I thought you might, but if it's any consolation, so do I".
4 wins, 1 half - Billy Casper (USA, 1963 and 1967), Bobby Nichols (USA, 1967), Hale Irwin (USA, 1975), José Maria Olazábal (Europe, 1989), Seve Ballesteros (Europe, 1991), Ian Woosnam (Europe, 1993), Colin Montgomerie (Europe, 2002), Sergio Garcia (Europe, 2004), Lee Westwood (Europe, 2004)

Most foursomes matches played:
18 - Nick Faldo (GB&I/Europe: W10, L6, H2), Bernhard Langer (Europe: W11, L6, H1)
15 - Lanny Wadkins (USA), Billy Casper (USA)
14 - Seve Ballesteros (Europe: W10, L3, H1), Colin Montgomerie (Europe: W8, L3, H3)
13 - Christy O'Connor Snr (GB&I: W6, L6, H1), Tony Jacklin (GB&I/Europe: W8, L1, H4), Neil Coles (GB&I: W4, L8, H1), Tom Kite (USA)

Most fourball matches played:
17 - Nick Faldo (GB&I/Europe: W7, L9, H1)
15 - Seve Ballesteros (Europe: W8, L5, H2)
14 - Bernhard Langer (Europe: W6, L6, H2), Ian Woosnam (Europe: W10, L3, H1), Colin Montgomerie (Europe: W6, L6, H2), José Maria Olazábal (Europe: W9, L2, H3)
12 - Neil Coles (GB&I: W3, L7, H2), Billy Casper (USA)

Most singles matches played:
15 - Neil Coles (GB&I: W5, L6, H4)
14 - Christy O'Connor Snr (GB&I: W2, L10, H2)
12 - Peter Alliss (GB&I: W5, L4, H3)
11 - Nick Faldo (GB&I/Europe: W6, L4, H1), Tony Jacklin (GB&I/Europe: W2, L8, H1), Bernard Gallacher (GB&I/Europe: W4, L3, H4), Arnold Palmer (USA)

Most matches won:
23 - Nick Faldo (GB&I/Europe)
22 - Arnold Palmer (USA)
21 - Bernhard Langer (Europe)
20 - Seve Ballesteros (Europe), Colin Montgomerie (Europe), Lanny Wadkins (USA), Billy Casper (USA)

Most foursomes matches won:
11 - Bernhard Langer (Europe),
10 - Nick Faldo (GB&I/Europe), Seve Ballesteros (Europe)
9 - Lanny Wadkins (USA), Arnold Palmer (USA)

Most fourball matches won:
10 - Ian Woosnam (Europe)
8 - Seve Ballesteros (Europe)
7 - Nick Faldo (GB&I/Europe), José Maria Olazábal (Europe), Lanny Wadkins (USA), Arnold Palmer (USA)

Most singles matches won:
6 - Nick Faldo (GB*I/Europe), Peter Oosterhuis (GB&I/Europe), Colin Montgomerie (Europe), Arnold Palmer (USA), Billy Casper (USA), Sam Snead (USA), Lee Trevino (USA)
5 - Peter Alliss (GB&I), Brian Barnes (GB&I), Neil Coles (GB&I), Dai Rees (GB&I), Tom Kite (USA), Gene Littler (USA)

Most successful all time partnerships:
12 points - Seve Ballesteros & José Maria Olazábal (Europe): Played 15, W11, L2, H2
6 points - Nick Faldo & Ian Woosnam (Europe): Played 10, W5, L3, H2, Darren Clarke & Lee Westwood (Europe): Played 8, W6, L2, H0
5½ points - Peter Alliss & Christy O'Connor Snr (GB&I): Played 12, W5, L6, H1, Bernard Gallacher & Brian Barnes (GB&I/Europe): Played 10, W5, L4, H1, Bernhard Langer & Colin Montgomerie (Europe): Played 7, W5, L1, H1
5 points - Arnold Palmer & Gardner Dickinson (USA): Played 5, W5, L0, H0
4½ - Sergio Garcia & Lee Westwood (Europe): Played 6, W4, L1, H1

Most successful partnerships in a single match:
4 out of 4 - Larry Nelson & Lanny Wadkins (USA, 1979)
3½ out of 4 - Seve Ballesteros & José Maria Olazábal (Europe, 1989 and 1991), Sergio Garcia & Jesper Parnevik (Europe, 1999)

Biggest winning margins in individual matches:
36-hole matches (Foursomes):
10 & 9 - Walter Hagen & Denny Shute (USA) bt. George Duncan & Arthur Havers (1931), Lew Worsham & Ed Oliver (USA) bt Henry Cotton & Arthur Lees (1947)
36-hole matches (Singles):
10 & 8 - George Duncan (GB&I) bt Walter Hagen (1929)
18-hole matches (Foursomes):
7 & 6 - Hale Irwin & Tom Kite (USA) bt ken Brown and Des Smyth (1979), Paul Azinger & Mark O'Meara (USA) bt Nick Faldo & David Gilford (1991)
7 & 5 - Gil Morgan & Lanny Wadkins (USA) by Sam Torrance & JM Cañizares (1983), JM Cañizares & José Rivero (Europe) bt Tom Kite & Calvin Peete (1985, Ian Woosnam & Bernhard Langer (Europe) bt Paul Azinger & Payne Stewart (1993)
18-hole matches (Fourballs):
7 & 5 - Lee Trevino & Jerry pate (USA) bt Nick Faldo & Sam Torrance (1981)
18-hole matches (Singles):
8 & 7 - Tom Kite (USA) bt Howard Clark (1989), Fred Couples (USA) bt Ian Woosnam (1997)

Youngest Captains:
USA: Arnold Palmer (1963) - 34 years, 1 month, 1 day, Walter Hagen (1927) - 34y, 5m, 13days, Jack Burke Jnr (1957) - 34y, 8m, 5 days
GB&I: Charles Whitcombe (1931) - 35y, 9m, 5 days

Oldest Captains:
GB&I: JH Taylor (1933) - 62 years, 3 months, 7 days
USA: Byron Nelson (1965) - 53y, 8m, 3 days

Most Captaincies:
USA: Walter Hagen - 6 times (1927-'29-'31-'33-'35-'37), Ben Hogan - 3 times (1947-'49-'67) and Sam Snead - 3 times (1951-'59-'69)
GB&I/Europe: Dai Rees - 5 times (1955-'57-'59-'61-'67), Charles Whitcombe - 4 times (1931-'35-'37-'49) and Tony Jacklin - 4 times (1983-'85-'87-'89), Bernard Gallacher - 3 times (1991-'93-'95)

Most successful Captains:
USA: 4 out of 6 and 2 losses - Walter Hagen, 3 out of 3 - Ben Hogan, 2 out of 3 and 1 tie - Sam Snead, 2 out of 2 - Arnold Palmer. There have been 12 winning USA captains out of the 24 who have captained a team in the 36 matches.
GB&I/Europe: 2 out of 4, 1 loss, 1 tie - Tony Jacklin. There have been 3 winning GB&I captains and 6 winning European captains out of the 20 who have captained a team in the 36 matches.

Playing / Non-playing Captains:
Since 1977, all the Captains on both sides have had a non-playing role.
The last playing Captain was Arnold Palmer for the USA in 1975, and he also captained and played in 1963, winning the Ryder Cup on both occasions.
Europe has never had a playing Captain, and the last GB&I playing Captain was Dai Rees for the four matches from 1955 to 1961. He won in 1957, but lost on the other three occasions, and also lost as non-playing Captain in 1967.
The first non-playing Captain was JH Taylor (GB&I) in 1933, then aged 62, who defeated playing Captain Walter Hagen's side 6½ - 5½. The first USA non-playing Captain was Walter Hagen in 1937

And finally, the two most dominant golfers of modern times...

Jack Nicklaus:
Tiger Woods once famously played down the importance of the Ryder Cup (at least to him) by asking a room full of media to tell him how many Major Championships Jack Nicklaus won - everyone of course replied "18". He then asked if anyone could remember details of Jack Nicklaus' Ryder Cup record - nobody could. Here then, just for the record, is Nicklaus' Ryder Cup record:
6 appearances (1969-'71-'73-'75-'77-'81) - the USA won all six matches
Played 28 matches, won 17, lost 8, halved 3 - total 18½ points
Foursomes: played 9, won 8, lost 1, halved 0 - total 8 points
Fourballs: played 9, won 5, lost 3, halved 1 - total 5½ points
Singles: played 8, won 4, lost 4, halved 2 - total 5 points

Tiger Woods:
Woods' own Ryder Cup record is certainly not in keeping with his staggering individual record:
6 appearances (1997-'99-'02-'04-'06-'10) - the USA won 1 match and lost 5
Played 29 matches, won 13, lost 14, halved 2 - total 14 points
Foursomes: played 12, won 4, lost 7, halved 1 - total 4 ½ points
Fourballs: played 11, won 5, lost 6, halved 0 - total 5 points
Singles: played 6, won 4, lost 1, halved 1 - total 4 ½ points

 

 






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