Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Why the Ryder Cup is so special

October 1, 2010

GOLF-RYDER/My love affair with the Ryder Cup began in 1969 when my first golfing hero, Tony Jacklin, was involved in a memorable halved match with Jack Nicklaus that saw the American great sportingly concede a three-foot putt at the last hole.

The passion grew stronger and stronger until the relationship was consumated when I covered my first Ryder Cup as a journalist at the Belfry in 1985.

That experience coincided with Europe inflicting the first defeat on the Americans since Dai Rees led the old Britain and Ireland side to glory in 1957.

By 1985, Jacklin’s playing career was coming towards an end and it was his captaincy that galvanised the match and suddenly made the Europeans feel they were no longer the ‘second division’ paupers compared to the rich ‘Premier League’ Americans.

Ever since that Seve Ballesteros-inspired triumph at the Belfry, the Ryder Cup has been completely unmissable as a golfing spectacle.

Fortunes have ebbed and flowed for both teams in the last 25 years but one thing has been constant — it produces raw, head-to-head sporting combat, heart-stopping excitement and
gripping drama.

The only downside is we have to wait two years for every edition.

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