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The Ryder Cup
The Founder, the players, the captains, the occasion, the shots, the emotions...

I trust that the effect of this match will be to influence a cordial, friendly and peaceful feeling throughout the whole civilized world... I look upon the Royal and Ancient game as being a powerful force that influences the best things in humanity.
- Samuel Ryder

I will give £5 to each of the winning players, and give a party afterwards, with champagne and chicken sandwiches.
- Samuel Ryder in 1926, as he discussed the creation of the event with Abe Mitchell and George Duncan

It would be very easy to drool with sentimentality over the Ryder Cup. But, at the end of the day, it is simply two teams trying to knock seven bells out of each other, in the nicest possible way.
- Eight times Ryder Cupper Peter Alliss

The teams are playing for their countries, their families, their team mates, Uncle Sam, The Queen, Mom and dad, the Fatherland and the legends of the leprechaun, all rolled into three days of golf.
- The Charleston News in 1991

The format of the Ryder Cup was no doubt devised by somebody with a shrewd sense of the sadistic.
- The Detroit News

Waiting for the Ryder Cup to begin is a bit like waiting for an important date to arrive at a restaurant; nervous about how you are going to perform, desperate to impress, and anxious for the first exchanges to begin.
- Jock Howard

The Ryder Cup has done so much to foster that great spirit of international rivalry that makes the present-day sport the great thing that it is.
- Golf Illustrated, June 1927

On tour, you are an individual. You play only for yourself and you lose it doesn't bother anybody else. Now, all of a sudden, you are representing the United States of America. When I stand out there and they raise the flag and play the National Anthem, I get goose bumps.
- Raymond Floyd

In America the Ryder Cup now rates somewhere between Tennessee Frog jumping and the Alabama Melon-Pip Spitting Championship.
- Peter Dobereiner, after the USA's humiliating 12-7 victory over GB&I at Royal Lytham and St Annes in 1977 (the last match before the format changed to a European team)

The Ryder Cup is now one of the most riveting, most exciting, most keenly anticipated and most closely contested events in all sport. It is golf's Super Bowl, the Royal and Ancient game's Olympics. It is Big Time in capital letters.
- Alister Nicol

I don't think you would have missed that putt, but in these circumstances, I would never give you the opportunity.
- Jack Nicklaus, after conceding a two-foot putt to Tony Jacklin in 1969....

I'm sure that's exactly what Samuel Ryder had in mind when he donated the Cup.
- American commentator Dave Marr on Nicklaus' gesture

Ted Ray was usually as dour as an elephant with a sore foot.
- American writer Grantland Rice on the 1927 GB&I Playing Captain

In giving this Cup, I am naturally impartial. But, of course, we over here are very pleased to have won.
- The Prince of Wales handing the trophy to GB&I Captain JH Taylor in 1933

I am quite sure we will win. British golf has taken on a new chapter of its history. They had been persuaded by all sorts of Jeremiahs that they were inferior to the Americans, but they are not.
- Samuel Ryder before the 1931 match in Columbus Ohio. He was wrong, on this occasion - the USA won 9-3

Everywhere we went we were submerged by hospitality and kindness. Suddenly we were in a world of luxury and plenty, so different from home. it was somethihng we had never expected. Even the clubhouses were luxurious, with deep pile carpets, not like the run-down and shabby clubhouses at home, which is all most of us really knew.
- Inaugural 1927 GB&I team member Arthurs Havers, marvelling at his first experience of golf in America

Nick Faldo is as much fun as Saddam Hussein.
- Scott Hoch, after beating Faldo and Lee Westwood in the Foursomes in 1997

We were all club professionals. When the Ryder Cup matches ended, we all went back to selling sweaters in our golf shops.
- Peter Alliss on the GB&I players of the 1950s

You have to remember that the Ryder Cup was the players' idea. It came from them. Even before Sam Ryder became involved we had played two matches between the professionals of the United States and Great Britain. But in those first matches we paid our own expenses. We came over for The Open and stayed on to play the match. I think there was more spirit, more of a will to win. That's what we were there for.
- Gene Sarazen, before the 1989 match

If you are a bad putter, you will not make a putt. If you have a tendency to chili-dip wedges, you'll be chili-dipping them all over the place for sure. Whatever your weakness, it will come up in spades during the Ryder Cup.
- Johnny Miller

It's not a pleasant feeling. It's like riding a roller coaster or bungee jumping. As it's happening, you're thinking, 'Why am I doing this?' When it's finished you're thinking, 'Oh, that was great.'
- Padraig Harrington on the pressure of the matches

The whacko from Sweden in his silly cap and skinny dancer's panmts always looks like the last guy to climb out of the clown car at the circus.
-Dan Jenkins on Jesper Parnevik in 1997

Sam Torrance offered me a lift to the course in his car. Then he told me I was playing him and he intended driving to London so that if neither of us turned up he would get a half-point. That was the kind of fun we had.
- Lee Trevino on the spirit of 1981 matches at Walton Heath

One thing is certain, these matches are going to be as close as this from now on. There will be no more American walkovers.
- European Captain Tony Jacklin, after the tied match in 1983 at Palm Beach Gardens

Once you get on the first tee and you hit the first shot and you're walking down the fairway... it's just us against them, and you kind of put behind you the importance of it and the magnitude of what it means. I'm just playing those two guys over there. That's the way I look at it.
- Paul Azinger, trying to sound convincing

I'm still totally convinced we have the twelve best players, today proved that. But put their guys together and they have magic at their fingertips.
- USA team member Tom Lehman after Europe won at Valderrama in 1997

We will not be the favourites when we go to The Belfry in two years. This score was no fluke. Let me tell you, most of the European players outdrove mine, and they made shorts and putted well. I said before, it was the strongest team in years. It was no fluke.
- US Captain Jack Nicklaus after the 1983 tie. He was right - Lee Trevino's 1985 team lost 11 1/2-16 1/2 to Tony Jacklin's side at The Belfy.

I remember breaking my putter on the sixth green. I just tapped it dowen on a walnut and it snapped. It was like somebody shot me. I had to resort to using my sand wedge for a couple of holes. After that, I used my one-iron for the rest of the round. I actually holed a couple of long putts to stay in the match.
- 'Gentle' Ben Cranshaw, after losing to Eamonn Darcy in 1997. Crenshaw snapped his trusty putter, know as "Little Ben", which he had used since he was fifteen, after three-putting.

My first year on the Ryder Cup team, 1969, and I couldn't believe the intensity of my team mates, the screaming and hollering.
- Frank Beard

Let's go kill them!
- USA team member David Duval before the 1999 singles matches

I have never been more scared in my life on a golf course than I was at Brookline. It was frightening to hear people shouting 'Kill, kill!' and 'Bring out the body bags!'.
- European Tour Executive Director Ken Schofield on the crowd problems at the 1999 matches

A couple of matches and result would gone the other way.
- USA Captain Dow Finterwald stating the obvious in 1977

It hurts when a little itty-bitty fellow outdrives you.
- 6 foot 4 Andy Bean, after narrowly beating 5 foot 4 Ian Woosnam

We were determined to get teh full point because the others had, and we knew we might get taunted at dinner.
- Ian Woosnam, on his 1989 partnership with Nick Faldo in the first afternoon fourballs, when Europe swept the matches 4-0

I let José Maria win the first five... then I took over because he was a little tired.
- Seve Ballesteros, on partnering José Maria Olazábal to a 6&5 victory over Tom Watson and Mark O'Meara on that same 1989 afternoon

When Seve gets his Porsche going, not even San Pedro in Heaven can stop him.
- José Maria Olazábal, on the same match against Watson and O'Meara

Afte we select our teams each day and hand in the piece of paper, all that's left is to go on course and act important.
- Jack Nicklaus in 1983, on the complexities of captaincy

The modern American professional has no character and no crowd appeal. He just goes on and on playing what a famous cricketer called 'the business shot'.
- 1939 article in The Times sounding a distinct sour grapes note before the matches, which were eventualy cancelled due to the outbreak of war

The spectators noticed especially the different manner of dress in the two teams. The English players were attired in rather drab and sober oufits of grey, made the more noticeable by the gayer costumes of the Americans.
- The Worcester Telegram at the 1927 matches

Although we have lost, we are going back to practice in the streets and on the beaches.
- Lord Brabazon, President of the British PGA, in 1955 and in Churchillian mood...

The disappointing thing is that even though we've won on the last three occasons, the Americans won't recognise we're Number One.
- Nick Faldo in 1991 at Kiawah Island

I've had a bad week. But in the real world, having a bad week is waking up and finding you're a steel worker in Scunthorpe.
- Europe's Nick Faldo after the 1991 'War on the Shore' matches at Kiawah Island

There was nothing wrong with the Ryder Cup except you lost.
- Colin Montgomerie at the 1998 US Open to a spectator who heckled him

On the sodden greens their approaches pitched past the pin, sat down and then, as a rabbit temporarily stunned, scuttled back, often fifteen feet, before lying dead.
- Leonard Crawley writing in the Daily Telegraph at the 1947 matches about the short-game skills of the American players

Perhaps it is early to bed for them tonight, hah! But will they sleep? It is not what time you get to bed that counts, it's the quality of sleep you enjoy when you are there.
- Attributed to Christy o'Connor Snr, in 1971, echoing Walter Hagen some 50 years before, as he downed another glass in the bar after his team mates had left for bed

We left no pub un-stoned on that ride.
- Denny Shute, remembering the bus in which the 1937 USA Captain Walter Hagen transported the victorious team to Scotland for the Open Championship

And no flowers, by request.
- Scoreboard carrier to the crowd at Ganton in 1949, after posting Max Faulkner's 8&7 loss to the USA's Dutch Harrison

I will never, never captain an American team again because of the nine thousand deaths I suffered in the last hour.
- USA Captain Lloyd Mangrum after winning a closely fought match 6 1/2 - 5 1/2 in 1953. (He was wrong, after a fashion - he was named Honorary Captain in 1955.)

Sarazen persisited in missing comparatively short putts, which Americans are supposed to hole with the same ease as they light a cigarette.
- George Greenwood in the London Telegraph in 1933

This has nothing to do with money. It's bigger than that.This is playing for Uncle Sam, and Sam expects a lot.
- Tom Kite in 1987

Gene Sarazen tears the ball through the wind as if it did not exist.
- Bernard Darwin in 1929 at Moortown

We expected to win the foursomes at least. The trouble is thtat we can't putt.
- 1927 GB&I team manager George Philpott, lamenting his side's 3-1 defeat in the foursomes matches on the first day of the first Ryder Cup. Similar comments would become a leitmotiv for the next 50 years.

One of the chief reasons for our failure was the superior putting of the American team. They holed out much better than we did.
- 1927 Playing Captain Ted Ray agrees

The British team could not hole out in a hole the size of the Atlantic.
- Tom Webster in the London Mail in 1935

There goes the most notorious man in Britain since Jack the Ripper.
- Dave Marr in 1981 at walton Heath, as Larry Nelson extended his Ryder Cup record to 8 wins, no defeats

I am the proudest man in the British Commonwealth of people at this moment.
- JH Taylor, after regaining the Cup in 1933 and levelling the series at two all

No domestic tabby of a course, but a full grown tiger.
- Golf Digest on Royal Birkdale in 1965

We know, and have known all along, since the game of golf got udner way in America in the '20s, that good players were in great numbers there, and with the sun throughout the year, practice facilities and huge rewards, we were up against an insoluble problem. The oprersent top home players, by no means poor performers, are leagues outside the tough American ones.
- Henry Cotton on the 23-9 rout by the USA in 1963

Jack will give this wonderful contest a completly new and inspiring dimension.
- Arnold Palmer on Ryder Cup 'rookie' Jack Nicklaus in 1969

For me, and I think a lot of other golfers who've been fortunate enough to participate in them, international teram contests are the most enjoyable events in golf. If the game has one drawback, it is its individuality, its self-concernedness - its selfishness, to be blunt about the matter. Playing for a team, and particularly for country in someone else's country, really brings a group of players together.
- Jack Nicklaus in 1973 at Muirfield

Of 1,750 clubs in the British Isles whose co-operation we invited, only 216 have accorded help. It is a deplorable reflection on the attitude of the average golfer towards the game.We fear it must be held to afford definite evidence that the oft-repeated slur against the pastime that most of its players are selfish possesses a good deal of truth.
- Golf Illustrated in 1927, lamenting the problems of raising £3000 in public donations to fund the first GB&I team's trip to the USA. The appeal fell £500 short, so Samuel Ryder paid the balance.

I just can't find the golf course.
- Jack Nicklaus at Royal Lythma and St Annes in 1977, after losing his third straight Ryder Cup singles match 1-down to Bernard Gallacher. (The previous two defeats had been at the hands of Brian Barnes, twice in the same day, in 1975 at Laurel Valley, prompting Nicklaus to tell Gallacher: "It's you Scots who keep beating me. I can't handle you guys.")



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