The 2018 Ryder Cup will be on the Albatros Course at Le Golf National in Guyancourt (27 km south-west of Paris), France, from 28 to 30 September 2018. The current holders are the United States who won in 2016 at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota, by a score of 17 to 11.
The Ryder Cup is a biennial men’s golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States. The competition is contested every two years with the venue alternating between courses in the United States and Europe.
Why is it called the Ryder Cup?
The Ryder Cup is named after the English businessman Samuel Ryder who donated the trophy.
The event is jointly administered by the PGA of America and Ryder Cup Europe, the latter a joint venture of the PGA European Tour (60%), the PGA of Great Britain and Ireland (20%), and the PGA of Europe (20%).
Originally contested between Great Britain and the United States, the first official Ryder Cup took place in 1927 at Worcester Country Club, in Massachusetts, US. The home team won the first five contests, but with the competition’s resumption after the Second World War, repeated American dominance eventually led to a decision to extend the representation of “Great Britain and Ireland” to include continental Europe from 1979. The inclusion of continental European golfers was partly prompted by the success of a new generation of Spanish golfers, led by Seve Ballesteros and Antonio Garrido. In 1973 the official title of the British Team had been changed from “Great Britain” to “Great Britain and Ireland”, but this was simply a change of name to reflect the fact that golfers from the Republic of Ireland had been playing in the Great Britain Ryder Cup team since 1953, while Northern Irish players had competed since 1947.
Since 1979, Europe has won ten times outright and retained the Cup once in a tied match, with eight American wins over this period. In addition to players from Great Britain and Ireland, the European team has included players from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden. The Ryder Cup, and its counterpart the Presidents Cup, remain exceptions within the world of professional sports because the players receive no prize money despite the contests being high-profile events that bring in large amounts of money in television and sponsorship revenue.
Who came up with the concept of a Ryder Cup style tournament?
On 27 September 1920 Golf Illustrated wrote a letter to the Professional Golfers’ Association of America with a suggestion that a team of 12 to 20 American professionals be chosen to play in the 1921 British Open, to be financed by popular subscription. At that time no American golfer had won the British Open. The idea was that of James D. Harnett, who worked for the magazine. The PGA of America made a positive reply and the idea was announced in the November 1920 issue. The fund was called the British Open Championship Fund. By the next spring the idea had been firmed-up. A team of 12 would be chosen, who would sail in time to play in a warm-up tournament at Gleneagles (the Glasgow Herald 1000 Guinea Tournament) prior to the British Open at St. Andrews, two weeks later. The team of 12 was chosen by PGA President George Sargent and PGA Secretary Alec Pirie, with the assistance of USGA Vice-President Robert Gardner. A team of 11 sailed from New York on the RMS Aquitania on 24 May 1921 together with James Harnett, Harry Hampton deciding at the last minute that he could not travel.
It was common at this time for a small number of professionals to travel to compete in each other’s national championship. In 1926, a larger than usual contingent of American professionals were travelling to Britain to compete in the Open Championship, two weeks before their own Championship. In February it was announced that Walter Hagen would select a team of four American professionals (including himself) to play four British professionals in a match before the Open Championship. The match would be a stroke play competition with each playing the four opposing golfers over 18 holes. In mid-April it was announced that “A golf enthusiast, who name has not yet been made public” was ready to donate a cup for an annual competition. Later in April it was announced that Samuel Ryder would be presenting a trophy “for annual competition between British and American professionals.” with the first match to be played on 4 and 5 June “but the details are not yet decided”, and then in May it was announced that the match would be a match-play competition, 8-a-side, foursomes on the first day, singles on the second. Eventually, at Hagen’s request, 10 players competed for each team. Samuel Ryder (together with his brother James) had sponsored a number of British professional events starting in 1923.
The match resulted in 13–1 victory for the British team (1 match was halved). The American point was won by Bill Mehlhorn with Emmet French being all square. Medals were presented to the players by the American ambassador Alanson B. Houghton.
United States vs Europe (1979–present)
- Sergio García 19 years, 258 days
- Nick Faldo 20 years, 59 days
- Paul Way 20 years, 216 days
- Bernard Gallacher 20 years, 221 days
- Ken Brown 20 years, 249 days
- Horton Smith 20 years, 339 days
- Jordan Spieth 21 years, 61 days
- Tiger Woods 21 years, 270 days
- Raymond Floyd 51 years, 20 days
- Jay Haas 50 years, 290 days
- Ted Ray 50 years, 67 days
- Christy O’Connor, Snr 48 years, 273 days
- Dai Rees 48 years, 196 days
- Phil Mickelson 48 years, 104 days
- Fred Funk 48 years, 95 days
- George Duncan 47 years, 283 days
Ryder Cup Yardages