All You Need to Know About The Ryder Cup
Ahead of the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club on the outskirts of Rome, Golfshake's Derek Clements has brought together a range of facts and stats that will get you ready for the showpiece event!
And when you're done looking through these - why not Test Your Ryder Cup Knowledge!
Largest Margin of Victory in a Singles Match:
Tom Kite thrashed Howard Clark 8&7 in 1989 and Fred Couples defeated Ian Woosnam by the same score in 1997.
Largest Margin of Team Victory:
In 1967, the USA beat GB&I 23.5-8.5 at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas.
Most Successful Partnership in Ryder Cup History:
No duo ever embodied the spirit of the Ryder Cup more than Seve Ballesteros and José María Olazábel. No team recorded more victories or total points either, as the Spainards had a record of 11 victories to just two losses and two halves. The 12 total points is twice as many as the nearest partnernships of Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke as well as Sir Nick Faldo and Ian Woosnam who each have recorded six total points.
There have been only four partnerships in Ryder Cup history who have never lost or tied a match together. The best of these was Arnold Palmer and Gardner Dickinson, who went 5-0-0 together between the 1967 and 1971 Ryder Cups (neither were on the 1969 team). Dickinson also holds the individual record for most consecutive matches won with nine.
Palmer makes the list a second time in his partnership with Billy Casper, going a perfect 3-0-0. Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson went 4-0-0 with three of those coming in a clean sweep at the 1981 Ryder Cup. And in Paris, Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood went 4-0-0 to lead the European squad to a victory.
Holes-in-One at The Ryder Cup:
There are a total of six holes-in-one in the Ryder Cup history books, starting with Peter Bulter's ace in 1973 at Muirfield. Interestingly, Bulter is the only one of the group to record a hole-in-one and still lose the match.
The most recent holes-in-one, and also the longest, came at the 213-yard 14th hole at The K Club in 2006. The first came from Paul Casey during Saturday Foursomes, and Scott Verplank had the second during Sunday's singles matches.
There have been five sets of brothers who have competed at the Ryder Cup throughout its history, highlighted by Whitcombe brothers in 1935. The Great Britain & Ireland team featured Charles, Ernest and Reg Whitcombe. Needless to say it was the only time three brothers all competed on the same team. In recent years the Molinari brothers, Francesco and Eduoardo, both competed on the European team in 2010.
There have been instances of cousins, uncles and nephews, and brothers-in-law who have all competed at the Ryder Cup. There have even been two cases of fathers and sons who have both represented the European side: Percy and Peter Aliss and Antonio and Ignacio Garrido.
Oldest Player in Ryder Cup History:
At 51 years, 20 days old, Raymond Floyd became the oldest Ryder Cup competitor ever. Floyd was a captain's selection in 1993, 24 years after his first appearance in 1969, which is also a Ryder Cup record.
Floyd's 3-1-0 record in 1993 gave the United States three points, which was tied for best on the team.
Youngest Player in Ryder Cup History:
Speaking of age, the youngest competitor at the Ryder Cup was Sergio Garcia. At the tender age of 19 years and 258 days, Garcia qualified for the 1999 European team.
He was one of seven rookies on the 1999 team in Brookline, Massachusetts, that held a 10-6 lead going into the Sunday singles matches before falling 14.5 to 13.5.
Youngest Ryder Cup Captain in History:
For one final age-related fact Arnold Palmer returns to the list, this time as the youngest Ryder Cup captain ever. He was chosen to lead the team in 1963 at just 34 years, 1 month, and 1 day. As a disclaimer, Palmer was also a player on the team.
But Palmer served as the final player-captain in the contest's history, so this record seems pretty safe. He returned as a non-playing captain twelve years later in 1975.
Best Performance by a Captain's Pick:
Since 1979, there have been three instances of captain's picks earning four out of a possible five points. The first was Lee Westwood in 2006, who had three victories and two halves. The other two are from Ryder Cup legend Ian Poulter, who earned four points in both 2008 and 2012. His 8-2-2 total record as a captain's pick is the best during the modern era.
The Only Ryder Cup Competitors Without a Victory:
In 2008, Oliver Wilson became the first European golfer to ever make the Ryder Cup squad without a victory on the European Tour. Two years later, Jeff Overton and Rickie Fowler became the first Americans on the team without wins on the PGA Tour.
Ryder Cup Facts & Figures:
- The first official Ryder Cup took place in 1927 at Worcester Country Club, in Massachusetts, US.
- The first team to win the competition outside of their own country was the USA in 1937.
- The Ryder Cup was originally contested between Great Britain and the United States.
- The Ryder Cup is named after the English businessman Samuel Ryder, who donated the trophy.
- Awarded to the winning team is a gold cup, 17 inches tall, with a statuette of a golfer on lid.
- Europe only won once between 1935 and 1985.
- There have been two tied matches, in 1969 and 1989.
- There was a three-year gap between 1999 and 2002 as the 2001 tournament was suspended after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
- The 2020 Ryder Cup was postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and all following events were pushed back a year.
The Ryder Cup is unlike any other tournament in golf and the atmosphere is something that every golf fan should experience. The experts at Golfbreaks.com can help with all aspects of your Ryder Cup experience, from accommodation and ticket packages to hospitality and travel and playing some of the fantastic nearby courses.
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