The 2012 Ryder Cup begins Friday at famous Medinah Country Club outside Chicago, and the United States will try to regain the title from the European squad. In 2008, the U.S. team reclaimed the Cup at Valhalla after three consecutive Euro victories. However in 2010, Europe won it back at Celtic Manor in Wales. Davis Love will captain the U.S. squad at Medinah, while Spaniard José María Olazábal will lead the European contingent. Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk are the veterans on an American team that has four Ryder rookies, while Lee Westwood, Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy lead a dynamic Euro squad. Here’s a statistical look at golf’s top team competition:
1: Number of winning Ryder Cup teams on which Tiger Woods has played. Woods has played in the Ryder Cup six times, but the U.S. won only one of those — in 1999. He missed the 2008 U.S. victory due to injury.
45: The number of feet Justin Leonard’s birdie putt traveled on the 17th green at the Country Club in Brookline, Mass., clinching the half-point necessary for the U.S. to come back from 4 points down and win the Ryder Cup in 1999.
9: Appearances, including this year, by Phil Mickelson in the Ryder Cup. In fact, he has also played on nine U.S. Presidents Cup teams and has never required an at-large selection.
0: Times 2010 European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie lost in singles during his career, going
6-0-2 for a total of 7 points.
7: Major championships won by Jack Nicklaus before he played in his first Ryder Cup. Nicklaus was not eligible to compete until 1969, due to restrictions no longer in place having to do with status as a PGA professional.
11: Ryder Cup veterans on the 2012 European team.
Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts is the only Ryder Cup rookie on the European squad.
1979: The year the Ryder Cup added players from continental Europe to Great Britain & Ireland.
18-8-5: European captain Jose Maria Olazabal’s Ryder Cup record in seven appearances.
9-12-5: U.S. captain Davis Love III’s Ryder Cup record in six appearances.
8-7-1: Record, in favor of Europe, since 1979, when the matches began to include all of Europe.
1993: The year when the U.S. last won a Ryder Cup on foreign soil.
Ryder Cup Career Records
Nick Faldo 11
Most Career Points
Nick Faldo 25
Most Singles Points
Five Players tied with 7:
Colin Montgomerie (6-0-2)
Billy Casper (6-2-2)
Lee Trevino (6-2-2)
Arnold Palmer (6-3-2)
Neil Coles (5-6-4)
Most Foursome Points
Bernhard Langer 11½
Most Four-Ball Points
Ian Woosnam, Jose Maria Olazabal 10½
Best Match Winning Percentages
(Min. three matches)
Jimmy Demaret 100% (6-0-0)
Jack Burke 87.5% (7-1)
Horton Smith 87.5% (3-0-1)
Walter Hagen 83% (7-1-1)
J.C. Snead 81.8% (9-2)
Sergio Garcia 1999 (19 yrs., 258 days)
Ray Floyd 1993 (51 yrs., 20 days)
The last 12 Ryder Cups
Year Venue Winning Team Score
2010 Celtic Manor Europe 14½ to 13½
2008 Valhalla United States 16½ to 11½
2006 The K Club Europe 18½ to 9½
2004 Oakland Hills Europe 18½ to 9½
2002 The Belfry Europe 15½ to 12½
1999 The Country Club United States 14½ to 13½
1997 Valderrama Europe 14½ to 13½
1995 Oak Hill Europe 14½ to 13½
1993 The Belfry United States 15 to 13
1991 Kiawah Island United States 14½ to 13½
1989 The Belfry Europe * 14 to 14
1987 Muirfield Village Europe 15 to 13
*retained Cup with tie