The Ryder Cup: History and a Recap

Will Sherry, Contributor

As the 2021 Ryder Cup comes and goes, let’s take a look at the history of the Ryder Cup. With everything from an overview, highlights, changes, and its growth throughout time, we will paint a full picture of what the Ryder Cup is and why it is such a big deal in the world of golf today. 

The Ryder Cup was established in 1927 as a biennial golf competition between men’s golf teams from the United States and Europe. The competition is played every two years with the location switching between courses in the United States and Europe each tournament. The cup is named after the businessman Samuel Ryder, who donated the original trophy.

The first Ryder Cup was a contest between Great Britain and the United States, taking place in the United States in 1927 at Worcester Country Club in Worcester, Massachusetts. Before World War II took place, the home team had stood victorious in the first five contests, but this changed greatly after the war. With America repeatedly dominating the competition, Great Britain decided to add Ireland to the squad, making it Great Britain and Ireland challenging the United States. Even though the Irish had been a part of the Great Britain Ryder Cup team since 1953, with players from Northern Ireland joining the British since 1947, the name officially was changed in 1973 to reflect this addition. Since then, the European team has gone on to include players from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden.

Since 1979, Europe has won eleven times, as well as holding the cup once in a tie match, while the United States has won nine times over the same span. Most notably in that time frame, the Europeans have won four times on away turf, with those years being 1987, 1995, 2004 and 2012, while the Americans have only won twice on away soil, in 1981 and 1993. In the years 1995 to 2014, the Europeans went eight for ten on Ryder Cup victories, dominating the Americans in that nine year span.

This year, the 2021 Ryder Cup was held at the Straits Course at Whistling Straits, Haven, Wisconsin, starting on the 24th of September and ending on the 26th of the month. The United States went on to defeat the Europeans by a score of 19-9, to hold the largest margin of victory in modern history of the tournament (since Europe’s inclusion in 1979).

The United States went on to defeat the Europeans by a score of 19-9, to hold the largest margin of victory in modern history of the tournament (since Europe’s inclusion in 1979)”

The 2021 American team consisted of team captain Steve Stricker, as well as players Daniel Berger, Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, Harris English, Tony Finau, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele, Scottie Scheffler, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thoman. Dustin Johnson led the American charge as top point scorer, going 5/5 on the weekend. With six rookies on this year’s United States team, captain Steve Stricker didn’t shy away from giving the new guys reps. Stricker, ushering in a new era, paired together rookies like Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay, a decision that paid off greatly, producing immediate points. With an American highlight from 24-year-old Collin Morikawa picking up the clinching half-point to lock in the United States win, there was no doubt that a new group of American talent has risen.

This tournaments European squad was lead by team captain Padraig Harrington and was joined by players Paul Casey, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood from England, Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm from Spain, Viktor Hovland from Norway, Shane Lowry from Ireland, Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland and Bernd Weisberger from Austria, with Jon Rahm as their leading point scorer, going 3.5/5.

With a dominating win from the young United States team on home soil, there is no doubt growing excitement for the years to come. With this year’s rookies, and veterans looking into the future, we are in for some thrilling Ryder Cup competitions in the future. With 2023’s tournament taking place in Europe at Italy’s Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, fans and players eagerly await already, for the announcement of captains, and the picking of teams for the upcoming championship, and hopefully for an American squad that can hold onto the cup once again.