There is nothing like a good old West vs West. No, no, no East here, just a solid battle between Europe and the United States. Like the Laver Cup in tennis, Europe battles the United States in the Ryder Cup. But, what is the Ryder Cup, when was it first organized and who is leading in the battle? Let us answer all those questions.
The Ryder Cup – Origins
The Ryder Cup wasn’t initially called that, but was rather a promotional part of brining US golfers, PGA golfers to the British Open in 1921. The idea was pitched to the PGA by Golf Illustrated, successfully. They played a professional match in 1921 in Gleneagles in the UK. The match was won by the UK, 9 matches to 3, with 3 matches being halved.
Following the success of that match, in 1926, another one was organized, in Wentworth, US, another where Great Britain was put against the US, with Samuel Ryder donating a cup, hence the name for the tournament. The match resulted in a 13-1 British victory.
The 1927 version was already called the Ryder Cup and it became a biannual competition due to the difficulties of organizing such a large tournament on a yearly basis.
The Inclusion of Actual Europeans
Until 1977, every iteration of the tournament had only players from the US versus players from Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland and a couple of independent islands surrounding the UK. in 1977, Jack Nicklaus talked with the English PGA president Edward Stanley, to start including other European countries and their players for the side of Europe. The reason for that is to make the matches more competitive because the United States were winning by a large margin.
That was a very smart business move, as well as one from a competitive standpoint. The matches became much more interesting and competitive and the viewer count increased, leading to today’s huge popularity of the Ryder Cup.
The Ryder Cup Today
Following the inclusion of Europeans in 1979, Europe started winning tournaments and their first win after a long while came in 1985, for Europe to win plenty of other tournaments in the years to come. Europe won the last match, in 2018, with the 2020 edition being postponed for 2021, due to a global pandemic.
Currently, the US leads with 26 wins over the course of 42 matches, meaning 16 losses. However, 22 of those 42 matches were playing against Great Britain and Ireland. During those 22 matches, they had 18 victories and 3 losses, meaning that most of their losses came after the rest of Europe was included (thanks to Jack Nicklaus).
The Ryder Cup, named after businessman Samuel Ryder, is a tournament between Europe and the United States in golf. It is a biannual tournament and every iteration is hosted in either Europe or the United States. It is a very popular tournament and with good reason, it is very competitive, particularly since the entirety of Europe was included in 1979.