Ryder Cup 2016: The history of USA v Europe


Hazeltine will play host to the 41st Ryder Cup and the 19th since the Great Britain and Ireland team expanded to become representative of Europe in 1979.

We take a look at each contest between the United States and Europe, the winners of six of the last seven matches.



Venue: The Greenbrier, West Virginia

Result: USA won 17-11

Larry Nelson starred for the USA with a maximum five-point haul, four of which were secured in tandem with Lanny Wadkins. Europe were nevertheless firmly in contention heading into the singles only one point behind, but the hosts dominated the Sunday singles to triumph comfortably - Nelson rounding off his stunning week with victory over Seve Ballesteros.



Venue: Walton Heath, Surrey, England

Result: USA won 18.5-9.5

Nelson was still unbeaten in Ryder Cups at the end of the 1981 event. On this occasion, he was one of three Americans to finish with a perfect record, Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino also winning four matches out of four. Europe actually led at the end of day one, but the USA seized control with a clean sweep of the Saturday foursomes and once again proved far stronger in the singles.



Venue: PGA National, Florida

Result: USA won 14.5-13.5

Europe came agonisingly close to pulling off a shock in their first Ryder Cup under the captaincy of Tony Jacklin, their performance at PGA National hinting at the success that would follow under the Englishman. A thrilling contest was still in the balance at 13-13 as Sunday's final singles matches drew to a close. Bolts of lightning lit up the skies in the distance as Wadkins won the 18th to rescue a half against Jose Maria Canizares. That ensured Open champion Tom Watson's victory 2 and 1 over Bernard Gallacher sealed victory for the hosts by the narrowest of margins.



Venue: The Belfry, Warwickshire, England

Result: Europe won 16.5-11.5

Two years later, Jacklin's team - again featuring the likes of Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer and Sandy Lyle - gained revenge through a landmark victory at The Belfry. Sam Torrance, whose half against Tom Kite in 1983 had proved immaterial, sank the match-winning putt on the 18th, his 1up victory over Andy North taking Europe to 14.5 points with five matches still on the course. The victors owed much to Ballesteros and fellow Spaniard Manuel Pinero, who combined for three victories in four matches over the first two days. Pinero also beat Wadkins in the singles.



Venue: Muirfield Village, Ohio

Result: Europe won 15-13

An even more historic victory followed for Europe in 1987 as the USA were beaten for the first time on home soil. The great Ballesteros was now established as a key figure and again provided a significant points haul, this time teaming up to superb effect with Jose Maria Olazabal in a partnership that would become iconic. Faldo, Langer and Ian Woosnam also lived up to their billing as key figures, while Eamonn Darcy secured a crucial singles win over Ben Crenshaw, who had broken his putter on the sixth green, as the USA were beaten despite a thrilling Sunday fightback.



Venue: The Belfry, Warwickshire, England

Result: Match tied 14-14 (Europe retained the trophy)

Christy O'Connor Jnr emerged as the surprise hero as Europe - again aided by starring roles from Ballesteros and Olazabal - retained the trophy in Jacklin's fourth and final match as captain. The Irishman won his singles match with Fred Couples in style, a stunning two-iron to the 18th green resulting in a birdie that the American could not match. Jose Maria Canizares' victory over Ken Green ensured the Ryder Cup was retained, but the USA triumphed in the four remaining matches to claim a draw - only the second in the event's history.



Venue: Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Result: USA won 14.5-13.5

A first USA victory since 1983 came in the 'War on the Shore' - a fiercely competitive and often fractious contest at Kiawah Island. Europe led once more heading into the singles, the tremendous alliance of Ballesteros and Olazabal proving unbeatable, but on this occasion they were unable to hold on. Langer had a five-footer on the 18th to halve his match with Hale Irwin and retain the trophy, but the German's par putt slid by the hole to spark jubilant home celebrations.



Venue: The Belfry, Warwickshire, England

Result: USA won 15-13

Another tight contest went in favour of the USA in 1993, although few could have imagined this success would remain their most recent triumph on European soil more than two decades on. Ballesteros asked to be rested from the afternoon fourballs on Saturday, but Europe lost three out of four matches in the inspirational Spaniard's absence. That got the USA back to within a point and they completed a fine comeback in the singles - winning six matches and halving three.



Venue: Oak Hill, New York

Result: Europe won 14.5-13.5

There was little to separate the teams two years later, but the tables were turned as Europe came from behind on Sunday to earn a first victory under Gallacher. The USA led 5-3 after day one and 9-7 at the close of play on Saturday, but a host of narrow singles defeats proved costly. Faldo, Colin Montgomerie and Howard Clark were among the European players to prevail in close contests, before the unheralded Philip Walton earned a match-clinching win over Jay Haas on the 18th.



Venue: Valderrama, Sotogrande, Spain

Result: Europe won 14.5-13.5

The first Ryder Cup to be held in continental Europe is remembered chiefly for the efforts of the hosts' captain - the legendary Ballesteros. His days as a hugely influential player for Europe behind him, Ballesteros was nevertheless able to make a major impact as he coaxed the maximum from his players. Rookie Ignacio Garrido was quoted as saying: "We may have held the clubs, but Seve hit the shots." The USA - featuring Tiger Woods for the first time - threatened to pull off a miraculous triumph from five points behind on Sunday, but came up just short.



Venue: Brookline, Massachusetts

Result: USA won 14.5-13.5

Arguably the most controversial Ryder Cup to date, the 'Battle of Brookline' saw the USA team draw the ire of their opponents by enthusiastically marching onto the 17th green to celebrate Justin Leonard's mammoth putt in a decisive singles match against Olazabal, before the Spaniard had been given an opportunity to attempt a shorter putt, which he duly missed. "It's about the most disgusting thing I've seen in my life," fumed European vice-captain Sam Torrance. Leonard's win against Olazabal crowned a sensational fightback from the USA, who had trailed 10-6 heading into the final day.



Venue: The Belfry, Warwickshire, England

Result: Europe won 15.5-12.5

The next Ryder Cup took place 12 months later than initially scheduled, following the September 11 terror attacks in the USA. Europe regained the trophy, thanks in no small part to the experienced duo of Montgomerie and Langer, who earned a combined eight points from a possible nine. With Torrance at the helm, Europe proved stronger in the singles, winning five matches to two - including a shock success for Phillip Price against Phil Mickelson - as five contests were halved.



Venue: Oakland Hills, Michigan

Result: Europe won 18.5-9.5

Following a succession of tight Ryder Cups, Europe thrashed the USA in 2004, recording their largest winning margin. A dominant first day for the visitors to Michigan set the tone, Europe winning six and halving one of the eight matches that took place, and their lead stood at 11-5 heading into the singles. Montgomerie, who fully justified his selection as one of Langer's wildcards, fittingly rolled in the match-clinching putt.



Venue: The K Club, County Kildare, Ireland

Result: Europe won 18.5-9.5

It was a similar story in 2006, Europe again triumphing by a whopping nine-point margin. Darren Clarke returned three points from as many matches, having been selected as a captain's pick by Woosnam just weeks on from the death of his wife, Heather. Clarke was welcomed to the tee on Friday by rapturous applause and there was barely a dry eye in the house when the Northern Irishman completed victory over Zach Johnson two days later - one of eight singles wins for the hosts.



Venue: Valhalla, Kentucky

Result: USA won 16.5-11.5

Europe's hopes of a fourth successive triumph were dashed at Valhalla as a side captained by Faldo was well beaten. The USA, under the stewardship of Paul Azinger, were considered underdogs given their recent Ryder Cup history, the absence of injured world number one Woods and the presence of six rookies. However, the likes of Boo Weekley, Anthony Kim, JB Holmes and Hunter Mahan went on to excel and Faldo's leadership came in for criticism.



Venue: Celtic Manor, Newport, Wales

Result: Europe won 14.5-13.5

Montgomerie was placed in charge of Europe for the 2010 event, which went right down to the wire. Poor weather in Wales forced a change in schedule that ensured all 24 players were pressed into action prior to the singles, with two sessions of six matches replacing three sessions of four following the initial fourballs. The alteration appeared to work in Europe's favour as they came from 6-4 down to lead 9-7 heading into the singles. Graeme McDowell then edged out Mahan in a dramatic anchor match that ultimately decided proceedings.



Venue: Medinah, Illinois

Result: Europe won 14.5-13.5

Thirteen years on from throwing away a 10-6 lead at Brookline, Europe produced a remarkable recovery of their own - the 'Miracle of Medinah'. Ian Poulter proved the catalyst for the revival, five successive birdies earning victory for the Englishman and Rory McIlroy in Saturday's final fourball match. Poulter was then among eight members of Olazabal's team who prevailed in the singles, with Justin Rose producing a sensational finish to see off Mickelson before Martin Kaymer held his nerve when faced with a five-footer to beat Steve Stricker and secure the trophy.



Venue: Gleneagles, Perth and Kinross, Scotland

Result: Europe won 16.5-11.5

Europe's dominance of the foursomes format proved key to their success in the last Ryder Cup. On each of the first two days at Gleneagles, the USA picked up 2.5 points in the fourballs, only to then be limited to half a point in the afternoon. Hopes of another Sunday turnaround were all but ended when Europe won three of the first four singles matches to finish and Jamie Donaldson ultimately sealed victory with a 5 and 3 win over Keegan Bradley.