Ryder Cup History

The Ryder Cup has been a sensation for a long time. It’s competitive golf with different teams. The event takes place every two years.

If you play golf or are a fan, you already know what it is. But have you ever wondered about the Ryder Cup’s history? We got you from start to finish.

Multiple teams from the United States and Europe attend the Ryder Cup. Some bring the trophy home, and some don’t. Three days full of competition and thrill, with over twenty matches.

This post is all about the Ryder Cup and its history. All summed up in easy words so you can understand it.

Let’s get right into it.

Key Takeaways

  • Samuel Ryder founded Ryder Cup.
  • The United States won the first Ryder Cup.
  • The Ryder Cup occurs every two years.
  • Ryder Cup was canceled three times due to unavoidable circumstances.

How Was Ryder Cup Founded?

Samuel Ryder, a golfer and a merchant, founded Ryder Cup. Who became interested in golf in his fifties.

Ryder fell sick, and his friend suggested exercising and playing golf with him. After playing Ryder’s first game, he was obsessed. Thus, Ryder Cup was born.

The first official Ryder Cup was held in 1927 in Worcester Country Club, Massachusetts. We say “official” because two unofficial Ryder Cups were held before Worcester. One in Gleneagles (1921) and the other in Wentworth (1926).

Gleneagles and Wentworth’s Ryder Cup were unofficial due to many reasons. Some of these are lack of players, field management, teams, participation, etc. After the first official Ryder Cup in Worcester, it was decided for the competition to occur every two years.

Who Won the First Ryder Cup?

The first Ryder Cup, or the Worcester Ryder Cup, was won by the United States. 

Walter Hagen was the captain of the USA team in the 1927 Ryder Cup. He was the first player to bring the first Ryder Cup trophy home. Unfortunately, Samuel Ryder was absent due to his sickness.

The United States dominated Great Britain with a victory score of 9.5 against 2.5. Both countries’ players performed great. Here are the statistics:

United States Statistics

PlayersOverall Scores (Including singles and foursomes)
Walter Hagen2-0-0
Johnny Farell2-0-0
Johnny Golden2-0-0
Gene Sarazen1-0-1
Al Watrous2-0-0
Leo Diegel1-1-0
Joe Turnesa1-1-0
Bill Mehlhorn1-1-0

Great Britain Statistics

PlayersOverall Scores (Including singles and foursomes)
Charles Whitcombe1-0-1
Audrey Boomer1-1-0
George Duncan1-1-0
Archie Compston0-2-0
Arthur Havers0-2-0
Fred Robson0-2-0
Herbert Jolly0-2-0
Ted Rally0-2-0

The USA won the first Ryder Cup easily by 91⁄2–21⁄2.

Ryder Cup Winners From Start to Finish

You see, we could have written a wordy post about how each team annihilated their opponents in the finals of the Ryder Cup. But you’d be bored when we finish with the history. So here is a table for all the Ryder Cup winners from 1927 to 2021.

1927United StatesGreat Britain
1929Great BritainUnited States
1931United StatesGreat Britain
1933Great BritainUnited States
1935United StatesGreat Britain
1937United StatesGreat Britain
1939-1945Ryder Cup was not held
1947United StatesGreat Britain
1949United StatesGreat Britain
1951United StatesGreat Britain
1953United StatesGreat Britain
1955United StatesGreat Britain
1957Great BritainUnited States
1959United StatesGreat Britain
1961United StatesGreat Britain
1963United StatesGreat Britain
1965United StatesGreat Britain
1967United StatesGreat Britain
1969United StatesGreat Britain
1971United StatesGreat Britain
1973United StatesGreat Britain & Ireland
1975United StatesGreat Britain & Ireland
1977United StatesGreat Britain & Ireland
1979United StatesEurope
1981United StatesEurope
1985EuropeUnited States
1987EuropeUnited States
1989United StatesUnited States
1991United StatesEurope
1995EuropeUnited States
1997United StatesUnited States
1999Ryder Cup was not held
2001EuropeUnited States
2002EuropeUnited States
2004EuropeUnited States
2008United StatesEurope
2010EuropeUnited States
2012EuropeUnited States
2014EuropeUnited States
2016United StatesEurope
2018EuropeUnited States
2020Ryder Cup was not held
2021United StatesEurope

Ryder Cup has been held continuously with a two-year gap since it was founded. However, there were three times when it did not follow the order.

Ryder Cup was not held between 1939-1945 because of World War II. It was canceled in 2001 because of terrorists’ 9/11. Lastly, the competition was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic.

The United States and Great Britain have dominated the Ryder Cup since 1927. Great Britain appeared in the Ryder Cup after 1977, inclusive of Europe and not as an individual country.

How the Format Changed After 1977

Ryder Cup matches and playing style took a different route in 1979, the first year Europe took an entry.

20 matches were played in Ryder Cup, which was three days long. From 1979, the number of matches increased to 28. This format is still used today, as it seems the most appropriate.

Four four-ball matches are played, along with eight foursomes, on the first two days of the Ryder Cup. Followed by twelve individual matches on the last day of the cup.

Since this big change, the United States was an excellent team, but Europe took over quickly. The USA has won nine Ryder Cup, and Europe with a whopping twelve wins since 1979.

Who Won the Last Ryder Cup?

The last Ryder Cup was in 2021, held in the United States and won by the host country.

The United States crushed the match by a 19-9 score against Europe. The last Ryder Cup was held at Whistling Straits Golf Course in Wisconsin, United States. This win had the biggest score difference since 1967.

The USA took their youngest team to play the cup. The team was initially intimidated as they were going against the previous Ryder Cup champion, Europe. However, the squad played amazingly; the chart below shows individual player results.

Players: USAOverall Scores (Including singles and foursomes)
Dustin Johnson5-0-0
Xander Schauffele3-1-0
Patrick Cantlay3-0-1
Collin Morikawa3-0-1
Bryson DeChambeau2-0-1
Brooks Koepka2-2-0
Justin Thomas2-1-1
Scottie Scheffler2-0-1
Daniel Berger2-1-0
Jordan Spieth1-2-1
Harris English1-2-0
Tony Finau1-2-0

With this score, the USA was going against Europe. This is how the European players performed:

Players: EuropeOverall Scores (Including singles and foursomes)
Jon Rahm3-1-1
Sergio Garcia3-1-0
Tyrrell Hatton1-2-1
Rory McIlroy1-3-0
Ian Poulter1-2-0
Lee Westwood1-2-0
Viktor Hovland0-3-2
Paul Casey0-4-0
Bernd Wiesberger0-3-0
Matt Fitzpatrick0-3-0
Tommy Fleetwood0-1-2
Shane Lowry1-2-0

We think the European players would have done much better if they could continue their performances from the first two days, along with Rahm and Garcia’s scores.

Final Thoughts

The Ryder Cup is a sophisticated sport played by hundreds from many countries. The cup was founded by a merchant who fell in love with golfing while he was playing it for fun.

The first and the last world cup held till now was won by the United States. The USA has held its pride as the Ryder Cup started from the country. There was a change in the playing format in 1979, but everything worked out fine.

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.


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