The Ryder Cup - 10 Magic Moments

Category: Events, From The Archive, Up Your Game

Ahead of another eagerly-anticipated Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, we look back at some magic memories from this captivating competition ...

10. Price Is Right, 2002

Few people gave Welsh rookie Phillip Price much of a chance when he drew then World No 2 Phil Mickleson late in the singles order at The Belfry. The 6th hole was the turning point - already ahead, Mickelson had pitched to within a few feet but Price got almost as close despite standing in the water hazard. Price tapped in, Mickelson did not - a swing which turned the tide for the Welshman's epic 3 &2 victory.


9. Dai of Reckoning, 1957

In an era of total American dominance, Welsh captain Dai Rees led Great Britain to their only victory in the Ryder Cup between the years of 1933 and 1985. Player Captain Rees led by example, winning both his matches as the home side came from behind to beat the Americans 7½-4½.

8. Day of the Jacklin, 1985

With European golfers added to bolster the beleaguered British ranks in 1979, Tony Jacklin was the inspirational captain when Europe inflicted the first Ryder Cup defeat on the Americans for 28 years at The Belfry in 1985. Europe's Big Five of Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam were all part of the side which triumphed 16 ½ -11 ½ to herald a new era of intense competition for the trophy.

7. Captured America, 1987

Europe did not have to wait long for their next victory but they had waited 60 years for their first ever win on American soil. Spanish debutant Jose Maria Olazabal dancing on the final green remains the abiding image as Captain Tony Jacklin outmanoeuvred the great Jack Nicklaus on his own course at Muirfield Village.


6. War on the Shore, 1991

Having not won since 1983, the Americans  made their determination clear by donning camouflage caps to evoke the Gulf War at Kiawah Island in 1991. Bernhard Langer dug in bravely in the final match against Hale Irwin but could not muster one final six-footer on the final green which would have secured an overall tie for the second match running.

5. Woosie's Wizards, 2006

Welsh captain Ian Woosnam masterminded a resounding 18½-9½ triumph at the K Club in Ireland in 2006 which matched the Europeans' record margin of victory set in the previous match at Oakland Hills. The tears of the recently-bereaved Irishman Darren Clarke were the focal point of on emotionally-charged and motivated European performance.

4. Donaldson's Wondrous Wedge, 2014

Another Welshman had the honour of securing the winning point when Jamie Donaldson put the finishing touch on another impressive European triumph at Gleneagles last time out. Donaldson did not even have to hole the winning putt as spinning his wedge approach to two feet brought a concession from his singles opponent Keegan Bradley and sealed a third victory in a row for Europe.   

3. The Concession, 1969

In 1969 we saw Jack Nicklaus perform one of sport's great gestures when he conceded Tony Jacklin's two-foot putt, allowing Great Britain to tie the match and escape defeat for the first time in six matches. "I knew he wouldn't miss it, but I didn't want to give him the chance to," said Nicklaus afterwards of his great act of sportsmanship.


2. Miracle of Medinah, 2012

Europe found themselves 10-4 down and as good as dead and buried on Saturday afternoon before winning the last two points of the day to allow a glimmer of hope. Galvanised by a pumped-up Ian Poulter, who made five closing birdies to win the last fourballs match, and inspired by the late Seve Ballesteros, whose great Ryder Cup partner Jose Maria Olazabal was the team captain, Europe completed the most unlikely comeback in Sunday's singles to win 14½-13½.

1. Monty's Mac-Nificent Men, 2010

As torrential rain pushed the Ryder Cup into a fourth day for the first time in history, a sunny Magic Monday at Celtic Manor featured a brave comeback from the Americans who wiped out their three-point overnight deficit. With the scores locked, Graeme McDowell rolled in a birdie from 15 feet on the 16th hole of the final match, setting up victory for Colin Montgomerie's team on the next hole and joyous celebrations  (main image above) .

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About the author

Paul Williams
Paul Williams PR Manager

Paul joined the Celtic Manor Resort in 2007 having previously worked in newspaper journalism, most recently as assistant sports editor at the Western Mail in Cardiff. Responsible for all aspects of media liaison at the resort, he wishes he had more time to improve his golf handicap of 14 and polish his excruciating puns on Twitter.

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