In this piece we take a look at the five greatest Ryder Cup comebacks.
Top 5 Greatest Ryder Cup Comebacks
In the history of the Ryder Cup there have been nine final day comebacks out of 41 total events, either to draw or win the match. For sheer drama and excitement on a golf course, the Ryder Cup is unlike any other event so in this piece we have taken a look at the five greatest comebacks in the event.
Of course we start with one of the most incredible sporting events in recent memory, the Miracle at Medinah.
Top 5 Greatest Ryder Cup Comebacks
2012 – Medinah Country Club
In what should be described as the greatest comeback ever in the Ryder Cup, the 2012 Miracle at Medinah was pure sporting theatre throughout. At one point, the US, playing on home soil, were up by 10 points to 4 with two four ball matches still out on the course. Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald managed to sneak a 1up victory against Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker which cut it to 10-5. The final match of the day was crucial for European hopes at a comeback and Ian Poulter proceeded to birdie the final five holes to pull off a vital 1up victory against Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner.
Heading into the singles with new life, Europe somehow managed to win the first five matches with Justin Rose‘s win being particularly improbable. He beat Phil Mickelson 1up with two incredible putts on 17 and 18.
Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer also won their matches and Francesco Molinari halved his to ensure Europe won the Cup once again. They had won the singles matches by 8.5 points to 3.5. An incredible comeback made more significant with the passing of Seve Ballesteros a year previously.
1999 – The Country Club, Brookline
Sadly this Ryder Cup will always be remembered for the actions on the 17th green and the shocking behaviour of the American fans, but both of those factors should not detract from what was an incredible comeback by the American team.
Down 10-6 going into the singles, the Americans came out firing winning the first six matches. Padraig Harrington and Paul Lawrie stemmed the flow briefly but the pivotal matches turned out to be between Jose Maria Olazabal and Justin Leonard, and Colin Montgomerie against Payne Stewart.
Monty eventually snuck a 1up victory in his match but it proved to be too late with Justin Leonard holing a monster putt on the 17th to secure the half point the Americans needed to secure the Cup. We all remember what happened next.
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1995 – Oak Hill Country Club
Another European comeback on American soil, the deficit this time was 9-7 heading into the singles.
The Americans got a point on the board early too with Tom Lehman smashing Seve Ballesteros 4&3 so the task got even greater pretty quickly. But then the Europeans came storming back winning 6.5 points from the next eight matches and Phillip Walton picked up a 1up victory against Jay Haas to seal the trophy.
When it was all said and done, the Europeans had comeback to win the match by 14.5 points to 13.5 and the era of European dominance of the event would begin.
1993 – The Belfry
Two years earlier than Oak Hill, the Americans were pretty much trailing throughout the entire tournament. After day one, they were down 4.5-3.5. The Europeans extended the lead in the Saturday morning foursomes, winning the session 3-1 but the Americans did the same in the afternoon four balls to create an 8.5-7.5 deficit moving to Sunday.
Sam Torrance had to withdraw due to injury which meant his match with Lanny Wadkins was halved from the get-go.
The Americans would win 7.5 points from the 12 matches to win by 15 points to 13.
1957 – Lindrick Golf Club
During this era of the event, the Americans utterly dominated the Ryder Cup. Before 1957, America had won nine of the past 11 matches and this dominance would continue after 1957 too. But the match at Lindrick Golf Club was the exception despite the clear superiority of the American team. For example seven of the eight Americans had won, or would later, win Majors, whereas the Europeans had no Major winners.
Back then only 12 matches were played and after the opening foursomes matches, it looked like it would be another rout after the US won three of the four games.
But the Europeans would win 6.5 matches out of 8 singles games to pull off a miraculous and totally unexpected victory.
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