Five moments that won the Ryder Cup


1983: LANNY WADKINSThe wig-sized divot which Wadkins created as he pitched his third shot stiff on the par-five 18th at the PGA National in Florida was so cherished that the captain, Jack Nicklaus, gave it a kiss. The half which Wadkins thus achieved, having at one stage been three down to Jose Maria Canizares, enabled the Americans to escape with a one-point victory. Wadkins' master stroke, executed from a fairway softened by overnight rain, flew 110 yards over bunkers and thick rough to land beside a pin tucked tightly into the back left corner of the green.
1985: SAM TORRANCEAlthough a short missed putt by Craig Stadler had turned the tide, it was Torrance's tramliner across the 18th green at The Belfry which secured the famous win. The picture of the Scot with his arms aloft after that final-green birdie soon became a defining image. The fact that it was the moment when the Ryder Cup was won on this side of the Atlantic for the first time since 1957 merely added to the drama. For Torrance,

1983: LANNY WADKINSThe wig-sized divot which Wadkins created as he pitched his third shot stiff on the par-five 18th at the PGA National in Florida was so cherished that the captain, Jack Nicklaus, gave it a kiss. The half which Wadkins thus achieved, having at one stage been three down to Jose Maria Canizares, enabled the Americans to escape with a one-point victory. Wadkins' master stroke, executed from a fairway softened by overnight rain, flew 110 yards over bunkers and thick rough to land beside a pin tucked tightly into the back left corner of the green. 1985: SAM TORRANCEAlthough a short missed putt by Craig Stadler had turned the tide, it was Torrance's tramliner across the 18th green at The Belfry which secured the famous win. The picture of the Scot with his arms aloft after that final-green birdie soon became a defining image. The fact that it was the moment when the Ryder Cup was won on this side of the Atlantic for the first time since 1957 merely added to the drama. For Torrance, beaten in the two previous matches, it was a triumph to savour after trailing by one hole with two to play. 1989: CHRISTY O'CONNOR JNRFred Couples, making his Ryder Cup debut at The Belfry, was all square on the 18th with O'Connor. The American faded his drive 300 yards across the water to the left of the fairway to leave himself a nine iron in. The Irishman's tee shot finished 60 yards behind - 210 yards short of the pin. Pulling out a two iron, O'Connor hit the shot of his life to five feet from the hole. Clearly rattled, Couples blocked his approach, chipped up and missed his par putt to suffer a one-hole defeat and virtually ensure that Europe would retain the trophy. 1995: NICK FALDOAll week at Oak Hill, Faldo had struggled and his singles against Curtis Strange was no exception. But Europe's fightback, after entering the final day 9-7 down, galvanised him. One down with two to play, he took the 17th and needed to win the 18th for Europe to have any chance of victory. His drive, though, was hooked into deep rough, leaving him with only a pitch out. With Strange just short of the green in two, Faldo displayed the mental strength of a supreme champion under the fiercest pressure by stroking his wedge to four feet and holing the putt. 1997: COLIN MONTGOMERIEOn the final day at Valderrama, Europe's victory target was only four points from 12 singles. But after a mighty American comeback, the home side still needed a half from the final singles on the course - Montgomerie versus Scott Hoch. Hoch needed to take the last to earn a tie. With the rain lashing down, there was enormous pressure on Monty to find the fairway. But his perfectly timed three-wood flew straight down the middle to set up a cast-iron four which enabled his captain Seve Ballesteros to concede Hoch's 10ft par putt for a half....and five that may have lost it 1969: JACK NICKLAUSNot technically a moment that lost the cup,but it left most of Nicklaus's team-mates at Royal Birkdale feeling mightily aggrieved. Playing the final singles in the closest cup for years, Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin arrived on the last green all square. If both holed their putts, the overall match would be tied; if one missed, his side would lose. Nicklaus sunk his and then, with Jacklin nervously contemplating a three-footer, picked up his marker with the words: "I don't think you'd have missed that, but I'm not going to give you the chance." 1985: CRAIG STADLERThis mistake turned the tide Europe's way at The Belfry and arguably created the doubts which have undermined American confidence ever since. After day one, the US led by a point. Tony Jacklin paired Sandy Lyle with Bernhard Langer for the second-morning fourball against Stadler and Curtis Strange. The Americans were two up with two to play and had to win to keep their side on level terms. Lyle won the 17th with a birdie but at the last Stadler faced only an 18in putt for a one-hole win. The 1982 Master pulled his ball wide. 1987: BEN CRENSHAWThis year's US captain received a lot of the flak from the American media after succumbing to the one-hole defeat by Eamonn Darcy which sealed the home team's fate at Muirfield Village. Crenshaw belied his Gentle Ben sobriquet when, after three-putting the sixth green to fall two behind, he broke his putter by whacking it on the path as he walked to the seventh tee. For the rest of the match, he had to putt with either his one-iron or the flange of his wedge and in the end the pressure of this unnecessary difficulty proved too great. 1991: BERNHARD LANGERArguably the most pressure-packed putt ever. Langer, all square after 17 holes of the final singles against Hale Irwin, needed to win the last at Kiawah Island for Europe to tie the infamous War on the Shore and retain the trophy. After conceding Irwin's two-foot putt for a five, he faced a six-footer over a couple of spikemarks for victory. The opportunity for Europe to escape after trailing for three days was mouth-watering. But, even though he struck it as intended, Langer's ball drifted just right and potential ecstasy turned instantly to anguish. 1993: COSTANTINO ROCCARarely has so much blame been heaped on one person after the Italian contrived to lose the last two holes against Davis Love at The Belfry. On the 17th, Rocca, one up, faced an eagle putt from 20 feet to win. Had it dropped, the match would have been a tie, but his ball agonisingly rolled three feet past. Love collected his birdie and then looked on in amazement as Rocca missed the return. At the last, Rocca could do no better than five and watched in tears as Love rolled in a seven-footer for a crucial victory.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'