Davis Cup and Ryder Cup: A tale of two halves of hearts in golf

Leading up to the 2021 Ryder Cup, we look back at the moments in Ryder Cup history that leave a lasting impression on the game… You might expect even the greatest Ryder Cup moments…

Davis Cup and Ryder Cup: A tale of two halves of hearts in golf

Leading up to the 2021 Ryder Cup, we look back at the moments in Ryder Cup history that leave a lasting impression on the game…

You might expect even the greatest Ryder Cup moments to be ingrained into the sport’s reputation as quickly as any natural disaster or military victory, but it can take a little while for the impact of what happens on a golf course to sink in.

That said, it is refreshing to see how long a people are willing to wait for the known facts of a sporting match to do the job for them. The fact that Muirfield will be losing 500 jobs because of The Open in 2017 shows just how much interest in a major sways public opinion.

So for the next couple of weeks, during our campaign to attract more European Tour events in 2021, we’ll be looking back at some iconic moments that should make any golf fan sit up and pause.

And starting in 1985…

From the 1982 Ryder Cup at Walton Heath that ended in an epic tie to one of the more infamous incidents ever to transpire at a Ryder Cup…

Old lie to new name

Geoff Ogilvy has now played in five Ryder Cups

On Sunday July 6, 1985, at the same venue where he was working as a member of the finishing group, Geoff Ogilvy entered Amen Corner early on the second hole when the other players were still walking to a relatively undisturbed 7th green.

He then casually wrapped his putter around a green, grafted it through the front of the green and then hit the putt. The result was the shot of the year…

Anyone remember there was a roof in place? We used to have it in the past!

And no, that’s not Tom Watson…

Ogilvy’s five-foot putt claimed the title as the best ever in Ryder Cup play, but it was not without a huge amount of controversy…

Because of the roof over 17, one of the tall trees outside the hole was not covered…

Ogilvy thought he had sunk the putt for three holes in a row, and briefly sank to his knees in frustration, only to see Watson make amends with his own game. Cue turmoil and confusion…

It wasn’t Watson’s grandstand finish, but it did prove the snick of the ball off the tree’s limb when he missed out on victory…

The hole had been that big and prominent all day. Watson’s gusto pushed his ball out of bounds, and Ogilvy was initially awarded the point in a four-ball match.

In a furious argument, the captain asked his team if the hole had been claimed… and no one hesitated a moment before agreeing.

Watson and his rivals were then awarded points, making Ogilvy the point winner in what was the worst-ever Ryder Cup collapse – a U.S victory from which they would not recover.

There was a heroic comeback to follow…

Ian Woosnam won the 1987 Masters and went on to win the European Tour Order of Merit – the first Englishman to do so…

But he followed that up by winning the 1989 Ryder Cup for his European team at Kiawah Island…

No-one could quite cope with Woosnam’s performance that weekend. Unruffled in the face of enormous pressure from Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, his opponents – Jamie Farr, Al Geiberger and Jay Haas – all fell away almost in unison.

It was his second and final Ryder Cup victory at Kiawah Island – the second one to grab all five points available.

The Americans claimed that was the decisive moment of the entire match, and actually all five points were distributed down the order of play.

But it came down to that decisive putt of Woosnam’s. Oh, the drama!

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