The Fantastic Ryder Cup and Its Fabulous Beginnings

The Fantastic Ryder Cup and Its Fabulous Beginnings
The Fantastic Ryder Cup and Its Fabulous Beginnings

The first Ryder Cup was played in 1927, in Massachusetts at the Worcester Country Club. There were some rules drawn as for the selection of players and way of playing the game. Two golfers from each team, i.e. the US and England, would take an alternate shot and singles matches. The US team was first to claim the Ryder’s Cup, winning with a score of 9.5 to 2.5. The Ryder Cup is played between the teams of American and  European golfers. However, it wasn’t so until 1979, before which the competition was limited to the US and England.

The Idea

The idea of Ryder Cup came when Golf Illustrated wrote a letter to the American PGA in one of their issues in 1920, asking them to send a team of American golfers to participate in the Open Championship. A team of 10 golfers was sent to England, and a match was played between the US and England at King’s Cross at Gleneagles. 5 foursome matches and ten singles games took place between the two teams resulting in the victory of Great Britain by nine games to 3 of US. In 1926, another match was played between the US and England which ended with England thrashing the Americans with a 13 to 1 victory. Samuel Ryder, an English Entrepreneur, was in attendance of the match and was willing the two teams compete again. Samuel Ryder donated a trophy for the first Ryder Cup which was played in 1927. The prize held a statue of Abbe Mitchell on a cup. Abe Mitchell was Ryder’s golf tutor, whom Ryder honoured in his trophy. The US team won the first Ryder Cup in 1927. It was followed by a period of back and forth of the Ryder Cup until 1933 after which the US went on to retain it for 24 years.

Expansion to Europe

In 1979 the England team which had already included Ireland decided to expand to whole Europe. Steve Ballesteros and Antonio Garrido were the first Spaniards to join the European side. The format of the game observed another change as it now included eight foursome matches and eight fourball matches and 12 singles with limiting each player to only one single match. The States team won against the European side with a score of 17 to 11. The United States team kept on winning the Ryder Cup until 1985 where the European team ended a 28-year long streak of US team

The Rivalry

The rivalry between the two sides is ever so high every time the Ryder Cup takes place. It reached its peak in 1991 with tension increasing between Paul Azinger and Seve Ballesteros. The advertisers also called it “A War On The Shore” as it was played at Ocean Course Kiawah Island Golf Resort in Kiawah South Carolina. The home crowd came out in big numbers to cheer their team to regain the cup, which was then held by the Europeans. It came down to a single six-foot putt to Europe’s Berhand Langer, who shockingly missed it and lost the cup to the Americans.