Part one of A-Z of the Ryder Cup as we go through the alphabet with some magic memories. Here are: J to R
A-Z of the Ryder Cup: J – R
J – JOLLY
Channel Islands professional Herbert was Jolly by name but perhaps not by nature after travelling all the way to the inaugural 1927 Ryder Cup matches in Massachusetts on his own, arriving four days after the rest of the team, losing both of his matches, and never again making the starting line-up.
K K CLUB
When the Ryder Cup met The K Club for the first time in 2006, there were emotional scenes to accompany another emphatic with for the Europeans. With the Cup contested in Ireland for the first time in its near-80-year history, the stage was already set for high drama. Enter lion-heart Darren Clarke, competing just weeks after his wife passed away, and Europe were truly inspired to another 18½-9½ victory. Swede debutant Henrik Stenson holed the winning putt to ensure The K Club would live fondly in the memories of the Europeans.
This fine Yorkshire golf course is perhaps most famous for serving up Great Britain or Europe’s solitary Ryder Cup success between 1933 and 85. Lying 3-1 down after the first-day foursomes, Dai Rees men turned things around in spectacular fashion the following day, taking the singles series 6½-1½ for an ultimately comfortable victory. Ken Bousfields 4&3 win over Lionel Hebert sealed Great Britains last ever Ryder Cup success, for by the time it next lifted the trophy in 85 it had evolved into the first GB&I and then into Europe.
M – MONTY
Monty is always up for the Cup. However many majors slip by, something about the Ryder Cup seems to galvanise Colin Montgomerie into a modern-day Seve - the man who strikes most fear into the heart of the Americans. Monty has a 65% strike rate in the Ryder Cup having won 20 of the 36 matches he has played over eight stagings, halving a further five. Most impressive of all is that Monty remains undefeated in eight singles matches, winning six and halving two. The Scot then famously won the Cup as Captain at Celtic Manor in 2010.
Related: 2016 European Ryder Cup Team
N NO Ns
No European player whose surname begins with N has ever made the team in 40 Ryder Cups. Conversely, some of Americas greatest Ryder Cuppers have been N men, among them the mighty Jack Nicklaus and the legendary Byron Nelson. Another was the little-heralded Andy North. The double Major-winner played his only Ryder Cup in 1985, losing all three of his matches.
Great player that he was, Christy Senior holds the dubious honour of recording the most Ryder Cup singles match losses of any player on either side 10 in 10 Ryder Cups. To be fair, he also won two and halved two in the days when there were more than one series of singles, and he did play in an era of unparalleled American dominance. Nephew Christy Junior won his only singles in spectacular fashion at The Belfry in 1989 when his radar final-hole 2-iron to near-gimme distance prompted Freddie Couples to block his short-iron approach so badly that Christy didnt even have to hole out.
P PORTLAND GOLF CLUB
Portland Golf Club in Oregon provided the setting for the closest ever result to a whitewash when the matches resumed after World War II. Ben Hogans team demolished Henry Cottons 11-1, winning all four foursomes matches and then the first seven singles. Sam King was the Britains hero, defeating Herman Keiser 4&3 in the final match.
Q QUEEN MARY
Queen Mary was perhaps partly responsible for the Portland result not the monarch herself but the eponymous ocean liner which transported the Great Britain team across the Atlantic that year. Once off the boat, the players had to endure a three-and-a-half day train journey to reach Oregon in Americas Pacific Northwest. Jaded might be an appropriate word!
The man who gave his name to the world-famous trophy made his fortune selling penny seed packets. It was a period of ill health due to over-work early last century that led indirectly to the Ryder Cup. Armed with a prescription of fresh air and light exercise, Samuel Ryder became completely hooked on golf, recruiting Abe Mitchell as his exclusive coach for £1,000 a year. An unofficial match between the Americans and the British at Wentworth in 1926 prompted him to do something official about it. So he donated a solid gold cup worth £250, dipped in his pocket again to help finance the British teams trip to America in 1927 and the rest, as they say, is history.