6 Of The Best Ryder Cups In History

In this piece we take a look at the six greatest Ryder Cup competitions in the history of the event.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In this piece we take a look at the some of the greatest Ryder Cup competitions in the history of the event.

6 Of The Best Ryder Cups In History

The Ryder Cup has seen some of the greatest golfing moments in history take place.

So to celebrate this we have taken a look at six of the best Ryder Cup events in the history of the tournament.

6 Of The Best Ryder Cups In History

2012 - Medinah Country Club, Illinois, USA

Final Score - Europe 14.5 USA 13.5

This is arguably the greatest Ryder Cup there has ever been.

With the United States dominant over the first two days play, Ian Poulter put himself into the pantheon of Ryder Cup greats with birdies on the last five holes in his four ball match with Rory McIlroy against Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner.

He helped secure a massive point for Europe which put the score at 10-6 with the Sunday singles to come.

The next day, Europe came out firing, winning the first five matches.

Justin Rose's match against Phil Mickelson in particular was huge for Europe as he birdied the last two holes with two brilliant putts to win 1up.

Rose's monster putt on 17 was a huge moment. He then birdied the last to beat Mickelson (Getty Images)

Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and then Martin Kaymer also produced points with the German holing the winning putt on the 18th to win the Cup.

It was an incredible come-back which was even more poignant given the death of Spanish great Save Ballesteros a year previously. Captain Jose Maria Olazabal was overcome with emotion on that momentous day.

1999 - The Country Club, Brookline, Massachusetts, USA

Final Score - USA 14.5 Europe 13.5

In 1999, the United States pulled off a come-back of their own.

Sure, in terms of crowd behaviour this edition probably wasn't the Ryder Cups finest moment.

Additionally that moment between Justin Leonard and Jose Maria Olazabal caused controversy but both of those things should not take away from what was an epic comeback.

Down 10-6 heading into the singles the Americans won the opening six matches by significant margins.

Padraig Harrington stemmed the tide but Steve Pate and Jim Furyk won both their matches to put them up 14-12.

The US players celebrate Leonard's monster putt (Getty Images)

Justin Leonard sealed the half point American needed with a 40-foot putt on the 17th against Jose Maria Olazabal.

The Americans celebrated to an embarrassing degree given the Spaniard still had a putt to halve the hole.

Alas, he missed and the Americans secured the Cup.

2010 - Celtic Manor Resort, Wales

Final Score - Europe 14.5 Europe 13.5

Plagued by weather issues, the 2010 event went into Monday of next week as the torrential rain had disrupted play.

Going into the final day Europe led 9.5-6.5 but America ground their way back into the match and eventually the event came down to the anchor match between  2010 US Open winner Graeme McDowell and Hunter Mahan.

That match went down to the wire too with the birdie putt holed by McDowell on the 16th being a huge moment for his team.

On the next, the pressure proved too much for Mahan as he fluffed his chip shot.

McDowell holes a crucial putt in 2010 (Getty Images)

McDowell won 3 & 1 and the Europeans took the Cup back once again.

As far as final day nerves go, 2010 is hard to beat.

1987 - Muirfield Village Golf Club, Ohio, USA

Final Score - Europe 15 USA 13

Put simply, this was Europe's first ever win on American soil and produced some memorable moments throughout.

First, during the final day singles Ben Crenshaw snapped his putter so had to putt for the remainder of his match against Eamonn Darcy with his three-iron.

Secondly, that match proved to be crucial with Darcy securing his first point from nine attempts on the 18th green.

It was this match which stemmed the tide of an American comeback.

The 1987 European Ryder Cup team (Getty Images)

Seve Ballesteros sealed the deal in his match later that day.

The final memorable moment came in European celebrations with Jose Maria Olazabal dancing his famous jig on one of the greens.

1969 - Royal Birkdale Golf Club, England

Final Score - Europe 16 USA 16

In terms of acts of true sportsmanship, the 1969 Ryder Cup has no competition.

With the scores tied at 15.5 points each Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin Nicklaus made a five-foot putt on the last leaving Jacklin with a couple of feet to tie.

Nicklaus picked up the Englishman's ball marker and said "I don't think you would have missed it, but I wasn't going to give you the chance, either."

Nicklaus and Jacklin shaking hands after the concession in 1969 (Getty Images)

Sam Snead, the American captain was reportedly livid, but the moment has gone down as one of the greatest moments in the event history.

1985 - The Belfry, England

Final Score - Europe 16.5 USA 11.5

1985 may have been the year that the tide turned in the Ryder Cup, with the Belfry hosting the match for the first of four occasions.

Europe won for the first time, which happened to be the USA's first loss in 28 years.

The US had also won 19 and tied one of the previous 21 Ryder Cups.

Sam Torrance celebrates after holing the winning putt

Tony Jacklin captained his continent to victory over Lee Trevino's Americans, with Sam Torrance holing the winning putt to defeat Andy North on The Belfry's famous 18th green.

The win came a day after Craig Stadler's controversial missed 18-inch putt on the final hole to hand half a point to Langer and Lyle in the morning fourballs.

Craig Stadler's missed 18-inch putt was one of the most memorable images from the 1985 Ryder Cup

Craig Stadler's missed 18-inch putt was one of the most memorable images from the 1985 Ryder Cup

Spaniard's Manuel Pinero (4) and Seve Ballesteros (3.5), who played all four doubles matches together, were Europe's leading points scorers.

Notable Mentions -

2002 - The Belfry (Europe win thanks to heroics from Paul McGinley)

2006 - The K Club (Darren Clarke performs brilliantly after the death of his wife)

1979 - The Greenbrier (European players compete for the first time)

1991 - Kiawah Island (Bernhard Langer famously misses a six-footer)

2018 - Le Golf National (France's first Ryder Cup. Moliwood win 4/4 in a phenomenal atmosphere)

What do you make of our list? Are there any we have missed?

Sam Tremlett
Senior Staff Writer

A golfer for most of his life, Sam is a Senior Staff Writer for Golf Monthly. 

Working with golf gear and equipment over the last six years, Sam has quickly built outstanding knowledge and expertise on golf products ranging from drivers, to balls, to shoes. 

He combines this knowledge with a passion for helping golfers get the best gear for them, and as such Sam manages a team of writers that look to deliver the most accurate and informative reviews and buying advice. This is so the reader can find exactly what they are looking for.

Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website, whilst he is also responsible for all content related to golf apparel. 

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Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a handicap of five. 

Sam's What's In The Bag: 

Driver: Titleist TS3 (9 degrees) 

Fairway Wood: Callaway Paradym (15 degrees), Nike Covert Tour 2.0 (19 degrees) 

Irons (4-PW): Titleist AP2 

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 54˚, 58˚ 

Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 

Ball: Srixon Z-Star Diamond

Shoes: G/FORE Gallivanter/Nike Air Zoom Infinity NEXT%/Cuater The Ringer/adidas Tour 360 22