Ninety-one years ago today, Great Britain lifted its first-ever Ryder Cup after defeating the United States 7-5 at Moortown Golf Club in Leeds.
It was the second edition of the matches – which were first held two years earlier in Massachusetts – and the weather was particularly noteworthy, with hail and heavy snow blanketing the Alister MacKenzie-designed course. Despite the unfavourable conditions, around 2,000 spectators had gathered to watch George Duncan and his Brits overcome the Walter Hagen-led Americans.
The biennial clash between Europe and the USA has now been played 42 times. Here, in no particular order, are five of the most memorable editions of the Ryder Cup …
The 39th edition of the Ryder Cup was dubbed the “Miracle at Medinah” after Europe came from behind to defeat the United States 14 ½ – 13 ½ at Medinah Country Club in Illinois.
By Saturday evening, Davis Love III and his American side had already bagged 10 points and only required 4.5 points from Sunday’s singles matches to win the Cup for the first time since 2008.
But the Europeans, led by Spaniard José María Olazábal, achieved one of sport’s greatest comebacks, claiming 8.5 points from the 12 singles matches to retain the trophy.
The 1991 matches – which saw the United States defeat Europe 14 ½ – 13 ½ to reclaim the Ryder Cup – were held at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina and quickly became known as the “War on the Shore”.
The matches took place in the aftermath of the Gulf War and patriotism was sweeping through the one-sided American crowds, who were desperate to see their men capture the Cup for the first time since losing it at The Belfry in 1985.
In addition to incredibly vocal spectators, the 29th edition of the Ryder Cup produced an exhilarating finish, as Hale Irwin and Bernhard Langer played the final hole, in the final singles match, to see who would claim the Cup.
Royal Birkdale – in Southport, England – played host to the first tie in Ryder Cup history in 1969.
Jack Nicklaus, who was making his Ryder Cup debut, played in the final match on Sunday against reigning Open champion Tony Jacklin.
Standing on the 18th green, with their teams locked on 15.5 points each, Nicklaus famously conceded Jacklin’s two-foot putt and told him: “I don't believe you would have missed that but I'd never give you the opportunity in these circumstances.”
The divisive decision became known as “the concession” and while some saw it as an honourable act of sportsmanship, American skipper Sam Snead said: “When it happened, all the boys thought it was ridiculous to give him that putt. We went over there to win, not to be good ol' boys.”
Eighteen years after the concession, Nicklaus and Jacklin were captaining their respective teams at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Ohio for the 27th edition of the Ryder Cup.
The Europeans – boasting the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer and Ian Woosnam – felt confident they could secure their first-ever victory on US soil. But the Americans weren’t about to roll over in their skipper’s own backyard.
Jacklin’s team slept on a five-point lead heading into Sunday’s singles matches – and although the USA fought valiantly, Ballesteros eventually delivered the decisive blow when he defeated Curtis Strange 2 & 1.
The 33rd edition of the Ryder Cup was dubbed the “Battle of Brookline” and took place at The Country Club in Massachusetts.
Tensions were already running high prior to the matches getting underway, with American Jeff Maggert telling the press: “Let’s face it, we've got the worlds' 12 best players.”
By Saturday evening, however, Ben Crenshaw’s American side was trailing Mark James and his Europeans 10-6.
But the United States rallied, securing 8.5 points from Sunday’s singles matches to defeat Europe by one point (14 ½ – 13 ½) and reclaim the Cup.