Iconic Ryder Cup Moments
Ryder Cup 2014
The 2014 Ryder Cup has finally arrived. Like golf or loathe it, there’s just something about this particular competition that really stirs the blood.
Twelve men, usually in competition with each other throughout the season, come together on either side to form bonds that can sometimes transcend the game and capture the most apathetic of minds. And it’s just great to beat America in stuff too, obviously.
Over the years, the Ryder Cup has given us some of the greatest memories in sport and within this list contains some of the most iconic of those moments.
In what will go down as one of the Ryder Cup’s most controversial moments, team USA were taking a pounding from Europe at Brookline; 10-6 down going into the final day, Ben Crenshaw’s team staged a remarkable comeback that would see Justin Leonard hole a monster 45-foot putt on the 17th. The American team, along with their wives and girlfriends, erupted joyously invading the green. Jose Maria Olazabal still had a 25-footer to halve the hole and level the tie but missed, resulting in equal scenes of jubilation and anger across the sporting world.
Paul McGinley & The Belfry, 2002
Controversy and soreness still lingered after the American over-elaborative celebrations at Brookline in ’99 and Europe were determined to gain revenge. Paul McGinley was making his Ryder Cup debut at The Belfry that year and despite a star-studded line-up, it was the Dubliner who nailed the decisive putt to win back the Ryder Cup for Europe. The celebrations at the end were incredible with the emotion taking over McGinley as he jumped into one of the nearby lakes in one of the most memorable sporting images from that year.
Darren Clarke & The K Club, 2006
Just six weeks before the 2006 Ryder Cup at the K Club in Kildare, Darren Clarke’s wife Heather had finally succumbed to cancer. There were doubts surrounding his participation prior to the start of the event but the Tyrone man took his place on Team Europe and produced one of the most remarkable, inspiring performances of any sport throughout history to help Europe to victory. The roar that greeted him on the 1st tee of the first morning remains spine-tingling to this day, as does the image of a tearful Clarke being embraced by his good friend, Tiger Woods, on the final day. It was truly one of those moments that showed the Ryder Cup could be more than just a game.
Ian Poulter & The Miracle of Medinah, 2012
Probably the most iconic and incredible of sporting achievements in history took place in Chicago, 2012. As alluded to in the introduction, golf is a very individual sport at the best of times but some players can alleviate themselves to previously unseen levels of performance during a Ryder Cup – Ian Poulter arguably the finest example. At 10-5 and two shots down going into the last five holes of Saturday’s final match, a pumped-up Poulter dug deeper than he’d ever done before to dramatically birdie the last final five and win the match. That was the catalyst for the greatest sporting comeback in history as Martin Kaymer sunk a 6-footer in the final day singles to win the 2012 Ryder Cup for Europe.