18 Best Ryder Cup Moments in the History


    Since its beginning in 1927, the Ryder Cup has witnessed numerous memorable golfing moments. Some were emotional, others were exhilarating, and others broke the heart. Nevertheless, certain events will remain permanent in our memories for various reasons.

    Top golfers from Europe and the United States fight in a team format at the thrilling Ryder Cup. It has a rich history dating back to 1927 and is held every two years. The competition concerns teamwork, camaraderie, national pride, and individual achievement.

    The Ryder Cup has produced some of the most memorable moments in golfing history. All these moments feature the skills and talents of the world’s best golfers.

    This article has collected a list of the top 18 Ryder Cup moments that will forever be remembered. Continue reading to decide if any of these occurrences sound true to you.

    1. Royal Birkdale, 1969 – The Concession

    Royal Birkdale, 1969 – The Concession

    The first-ever tied Ryder Cup came down to one thrilling match between Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin. With the team scores tied at 15 ½ points each, the pressure was on as they teed off on the final hole. Nicklaus made a clutch 5ft putt on the 18th green, securing at least a halved match and ensuring the US retained the trophy.

    But what happened next was truly remarkable. Instead of making Jacklin play out his short putt, Nicklaus picked up his opponent’s marker and offered a share of the point. This sportsmanlike gesture showed that fair play and respect for one’s opponent are paramount, even in the heat of competition.

    This moment has gone down in history as one of the most celebrated moments in Ryder Cup history, and it’s not hard to see why. It displays the game’s true spirit and reminds us of the values that make sportsmanship so important.

    2. The Greenbrier, 1979 – Europe United

    The Greenbrier, 1979 – Europe United

    For 50 years, the US had dominated the Ryder Cup, but things were about to change. A fresh team photo revealed a new-look Great Britain & Ireland team, which now included all of Europe, to level the playing field.

    Adding newcomers Seve Ballesteros and Antonio Garrido from Spain was a promising start, but the US quickly extinguished any optimism by crushing their opponents 17-11. Ballesteros didn’t make an immediate impact. But this match marked a turning point in Ryder Cup history, showing a new era of fierce competition.

    3. Palm Beach Gardens, 1983 – The Greatest Shot

    Palm Beach Gardens, 1983 – The Greatest Shot

    At Palm Beach, Seve Ballesteros was establishing himself as one of the greatest Ryder Cup competitors ever, but it looked like he had blown the chance to share a point with Fuzzy Zoeller.

    With his ball nestled in a fairway bunker 245 yards away from the 18th green, Ballesteros selected for his three-wood, which seemed unconventional to many. However, he blasted the ball just over the lip of the bunker, avoiding the water hazard to the side of the green, and eventually made par to halve the hole.

    Even US captain Jack Nicklaus was impressed, calling it “The greatest shot I ever saw.” Unfortunately, this moment was missed by the TV coverage on the day, but it remains legendary in Ryder Cup history.

    4. The Belfry, 1985 – Sam’s The Man

    The Belfry, 1985 – Sam’s The Man

    After failing their previous three attempts, Europe finally clinched their first Ryder Cup victory. The US, on the other hand, suffered its first defeat since 1957. In the final singles match, Sam Torrance enjoyed a leisurely walk while knowing he had enough cushion to beat US Open champion Andy North.

    He finished with a birdie on the 18th hole and then showed his strength by carrying captain Tony Jacklin on his shoulders as Europe celebrated their historic victory. The moment was an emotional one for Torrance and his team, as they finally broke the US’s long-standing domination of the tournament.

    5. Muirfield Village, 1987 – Darcy’s Perfect 10

    Muirfield Village, 1987 – Darcy’s Perfect 10

    Eamonn Darcy had been playing at the Ryder Cup for the fourth time but had yet to win a match. His opponent was Ben Crenshaw, known for his putter skills and calm demeanor. But on the 6th green, something snapped in Crenshaw, and he broke his putter in frustration.

    From then on, he had to use a three-iron, and Darcy saw an opportunity. He seized it with a short, sweet putt on the 18th green, finally earning his first victory in ten attempts. This win was crucial, as it helped Europe secure its first-ever victory on American soil. It was a momentous occasion that would go down in Ryder Cup history.

    6. The Belfry, 1989 – Best Of Enemies

    The Belfry, 1989 – Best Of Enemies

    The Ryder Cup was heating up as Europe and the US battled it out in a tense tie. Seve Ballesteros and Paul Azinger’s fiery singles match was a tournament highlight. Ballesteros tried to switch to a new ball early on, but Azinger challenged the move, and the referee sided with him.

    Ballesteros wasn’t happy and asked Azinger, “Is this how you want to play today?” The match was still up for grabs as they headed to the 18th, but Azinger’s approach shot found the water.

    After taking a drop, Ballesteros claimed it was done incorrectly, adding to the tension. But Azinger kept his cool to win by one, though the trophy remained in European hands. It was a nail-biting moment that will go down in Ryder Cup history.

    7. Kiawah Island, 1991 – Six Feet Under

    Kiawah Island, 1991 – Six Feet Under

    The exciting Ryder Cup match at Kiawah Island came down to one defining moment for Bernhard Langer. He had a six-foot putt on the 18th green, and all eyes were on him. A successful shot would win the game against Hale Irwin and ensure Europe’s victory, but the pressure was immense.

    Langer was famous for his impeccable short game, but the tension was palpable as he lined up his shot. The crowd was silent as he gently nudged the ball toward the hole.

    It seemed like a sure thing, but at the last second, it swerved away, crushing the hopes of the European team and handing the US their first win in eight years. The excitement of the match was unforgettable, but it was Langer’s missed putt that would be remembered for years to come.

    8. The Belfry, 1993 – Fire And Ice

    The Belfry, 1993 – Fire And Ice

    The stage was set for a Ryder Cup battle between two titans – Paul Azinger, the fiery American, and Nick Faldo, the cool and collected European. Azinger’s explosive power clashed with Faldo’s precise technique, creating a thrilling Sunday showdown.

    The match was neck and neck until Faldo landed a hole-in-one on the 14th, sending him ahead. But Azinger refused to give in, fighting back with birdies on the 15th and 18th to tie the match.

    Though the US ultimately retained the Ryder Cup 15-13, the intense rivalry between these two golfing greats would continue, culminating in a captain’s faceoff 15 years later at Valhalla.

    9. Oak Hill, 1995 – Fearless Faldo

    Oak Hill, 1995 – Fearless Faldo

    On Sunday, the US was two points ahead in the singles and on track for their third consecutive victory. Nick Faldo was one down against Curtis Strange with only two holes left to play.

    Strange, however, struggled under pressure and bogeyed both the 17th and 18th holes, giving Faldo the opportunity to turn the game around.

    In a stunning finish, the determined Brit made a five-foot putt on the 18th to clinch the point. “It was the best-scrambling par I ever made,” said Faldo. Then, Irish rookie Philip Walton edged out Jay Haas by one hole, securing a 14½-13½ victory for Europe.

    10. Valderrama, 1997 – Monty On The March

    Valderrama, 1997 – Monty On The March

    The first Ryder Cup in continental Europe was a real nail-biter that went down to the wire. Seve Ballesteros led Europe with passion and drive, giving them an impressive five-point lead heading into Sunday’s singles matches.

    But the Americans fought back, winning eight of the 12 matches and nearly pulling off an epic comeback. Bernhard Langer’s win over Brad Faxon meant that Europe couldn’t be beaten, but it was left to Colin Montgomerie to seal the deal.

    His halved match against Scott Hoch secured a 14½-13½ victory, making him Europe’s top scorer with 3½ points. It was an unforgettable moment as Europe claimed the trophy on their own turf.

    11. Brookline, 1999 – Justin Time

    Brookline, 1999 – Justin Time

    Justin Leonard faced a daunting task on the 17th green at Brookline. He had to tie his match with Jose Maria Olazabal to bring the Ryder Cup back to the US. It seemed impossible earlier in the day, with the Americans trailing by four points at 10-6 going into the Sunday singles.

    Leonard had been down by four holes with only seven to play, but he didn’t give up. As the match became all square, he unleashed a fearless putt that soared up the hill and dropped into the hole for a birdie.

    The putt was so good that some US players, caddies, and fans rushed onto the green in premature celebration. However, Olazabal still had a chance to send the game to the 18th hole if he could make his own putt.

    The scene turned ugly as the premature celebrations continued, and Olazabal missed his putt from 25 yards out, handing the victory to the US in what would become known as the Battle of Brookline. Despite the controversy, Leonard’s incredible putt will go down in Ryder Cup history as one of the greatest moments of all time.

    12. Belfry, 2002 – McGinley Takes A Dive

    Belfry, 2002 – McGinley Takes A Dive

    In 2002 at The Belfry, Paul McGinley, a rookie from Ireland, made a bold move by jumping into the lake beside the 18th hole in celebration of becoming the match-winner.

    He earned respect for displaying excellent sportsmanship by allowing Jim Furyk, his US opponent, to pick up his ball after it was left just 15 inches away from the hole.

    With only half a point needed for victory, McGinley held his nerve and landed a 12-foot putt. After the win, he shared, “As it went in the hole, I put my arms in the air and wondered, ‘why isn’t anyone jumping on top of me?’

    I thought: ‘Maybe it’s lipped out?’ Then I saw Sergio Garcia jumping up and down. In real-time, it was only one second. For me, time stood still.” It was a thrilling moment for McGinley and the entire team, and his celebratory leap into the lake made for an unforgettable ending to an incredible match.

    13. Oakland Hills, 2004 – Magnificent Seven

    Oakland Hills, 2004 – Magnificent Seven

    Colin Montgomerie had never lost a singles match in his previous six Ryder Cup appearances, and he arrived in Michigan ready to defend that record. But the tournament’s seventh edition turned out to be an exciting one, as records were shattered left and right.

    Europe emerged as the runaway winners with a score of 18½ to 9½, and it was Monty who clinched the victory with a putt that downed David Toms. The win was Europe’s largest margin of victory ever, and the US suffered their worst defeat in 77 years of Ryder Cup competition, making it a historic moment.

    Captain Bernhard Langer commented, “It was fitting for Colin to make the most important putt that wins the cup. You couldn’t have written a better script.”

    14. K Club, 2006 – Clarke Of The Course

    K Club, 2006 – Clarke Of The Course

    Darren Clarke, the European golfer, faced an emotional setback when he lost his wife Heather to cancer just three months before the tournament. Despite the tragic loss, he accepted a wildcard invitation from captain Ian Woosnam to honor Heather’s wishes.

    Clarke’s remarkable display of grit and determination was evident from the beginning. He received an emotional welcome on the first tee and went on to win the Friday morning four-ball with Lee Westwood, repeating the feat on Saturday.

    In Sunday’s singles, he outplayed Zach Johnson, winning 3 & 2 to claim maximum points over the three days. The tournament ended with Europe crushing the US 18½-9½. Clarke shared, “When Woosie dedicated the Ryder Cup to Heather, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Heather wanted me to play, and I fulfilled her wish.”

    Clarke’s unwavering spirit in the face of adversity touched the hearts of many golf fans around the world, making it a tournament to remember.

    15. Valhalla, 2008 – Pumped Up Poulter

    Valhalla, 2008 – Pumped Up Poulter

    Ian Poulter, a European golfer, faced a lot of pressure during his Ryder Cup debut as he was picked as a wildcard by captain Nick Faldo instead of 2006 hero Darren Clarke.

    Despite this, Poulter showed his skills on the greens and scored four individual points, more than any other player from both sides. Poulter’s style of play was passionate and energetic, with clenched fists and bulging eyes.

    He left a lasting impression on the greens and proved himself to be a force to be reckoned with in the Ryder Cup. Poulter truly made his mark on the tournament.

    16. Celtic Manor, 2010 – McDowell’s Magic Monday

    Celtic Manor, 2010 – McDowell’s Magic Monday

    The Ryder Cup, hosted for the first time in Wales, spilled over to a Monday due to incessant rain at Celtic Manor. The weather change boosted the Americans and threatened Europe’s three-point overnight lead.

    The entire tournament hinged on the outcome of the final game between Graeme McDowell and Hunter Mahan, with all 12 singles matches to complete. McDowell, from Northern Ireland, played an aggressive game and made a magnificent birdie putt on the 16th to lead by two with two holes remaining.

    The pressure was too much for Mahan, who missed a crucial putt on the 17th, allowing McDowell and Europe to regain the trophy. The historic tournament’s thrilling finale kept the spectators on the edge of their seats.

    17. Medinah, 2012 – Miracle At Medinah

    Medinah, 2012 – Miracle At Medinah

    Europe’s golf hero, Ian Poulter, ignited a storming comeback with his fiery spirit. The team was down 10-4 by the end of Saturday afternoon’s four-ball matches. Poulter and Rory McIlroy seemed to be out of the game, trailing by two holes to Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson with just six holes left to play.

    But Poulter refused to give up, and his incredible birdie shots on the last five holes were simply stunning. He sealed the match-winning 10ft putt on the 18th with a performance that left everyone in awe. “We have a pulse,” Poulter roared victoriously.

    The Europeans regained their fighting spirit and went on to dominate the Sunday matches, claiming 8½ points out of 12 singles matches to retain the Ryder Cup. Poulter’s display of incredible talent and unrelenting determination was the driving force behind Europe’s memorable comeback.

    18. Gleneagles, 2014 – Glory In The Glen

    Gleneagles, 2014 – Glory In The Glen

    Europe crushed the US team’s claims of Ryder Cup dominance with a five-point victory in the rolling hills of the Gleneagles. This marked the third straight win against the Americans and the eighth triumph from the past ten tournaments, proving who currently reigns supreme.

    The historic tournament also witnessed Welsh rookie Jamie Donaldson create history with his stunning wedge shot that landed just a few feet from the hole, securing a 4 & 3 victory over Keegan Bradley.

    After years of hard work to make the Ryder Cup team, Donaldson was ecstatic, saying, “There’s nothing else like it in golf. It’s just a total one-off. It’s just a huge, huge thing, and it’s just been amazing to be a part of it.”

    The thrilling tournament was a testament to the power of teamwork and skill, keeping fans on the edge of their seats until the very end. Get ready to be thrilled and amazed by the unforgettable Ryder Cup tournament that proved Europe’s dominance in the game.


    The Ryder Cup encompasses golf, encapsulating national pride, sportsmanship, and the best athletes the sport has to give. The tournament has produced countless moments that will live on in our memories throughout its outstanding past.

    The Ryder Cup has provided some of history’s most memorable sporting events. There’s no denying the tournament’s ability to captivate audiences. As we look forward to the next edition, the Ryder Cup’s legacy and eagerly expect the new moments of greatness that will undoubtedly be added to its storied history.


    Who has the best Ryder Cup record ever?

    Casper is at the top of the list regarding U.S. Ryder Cup history, having accumulated an impressive 23 1/2 points. He also shares second place with Lanny Wadkins for playing 37 matches and for 20 overall wins.

    Who did best in Ryder Cup?

    Out of the 1012 individual matches played in the 43 Ryder Cups, the United States has won 492 while Europe (including Great Britain/Great Britain and Ireland up to 1977) has won 382, with 138 matches being split. This brings the total points scored by the United States to 561 and Europe to 451.

    Who has the worst Ryder Cup record?

    Phil Mickelson, the well-known golfer, has a unique honor in Ryder Cup history as he holds the record for the highest number of losses.

    He has faced defeat in 22 matches, which is the maximum number of losses in the tournament. Mickelson has had a long career, and the 2018 Ryder Cup was his last time as a player. During that time, he won 18 matches and had to settle for seven halves.

    Who is undefeated in Ryder Cup?

    In 1967, Arnold Palmer and Gardner Dickinson, both Americans, achieved a flawless record of 5 wins, 0 losses, and 0 halves.

    What was the longest drive in the Ryder Cup?

    Bryson DeChambeau hits an incredible 417-yard mega-drive at the Ryder Cup by taking an absurd shortcut. The fifth hole at Whistling Straits is a 605-yard par-5 on paper, but it’s even longer up close. The hole is a dogleg right with two forced carries on a good day.

    Has anyone hit a hole-in-one at the Ryder Cup?

    Holes-in-one are a rare feat in golf, but the Ryder Cup has witnessed six of them. Peter Butler scored the first in 1973 at Muirfield. There was a 20-year gap before Nick Faldo achieved the second in 1993.

    What is the rarest shot in golf?

    Do you know what a condor is? A “1” on a par 5 is the rarest shot in golf. Surprisingly, it has happened more than once in the past. Only five condors have been seen or heard of in recent years. We’re not talking about the bird, though. We’re talking about a golfer’s dream come true.

    Golam Muktadir is a passionate sports fan and a dedicated movie buff. He has been writing about both topics for over a decade and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with his readers. Muktadir has a degree in journalism and has written for several well-known publications, including Surprise Sports and Surprise Movies.


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here