The Ryder Cup is one of the most prestigious events in golf. Occurring every two years, the tournament brings together the best golfers from Europe and the United States in a head-to-head battle for glory and bragging rights. With every shot, putt, and fist pump, the players display their love for their country, giving us some of the most patriotic moments in US Ryder Cup history.
The Miracle at Medinah (2012)
People remember some crowning achievements in golf for their domination and greatness while remembering others for being astonishing comebacks. The 2012 Ryder Cup held at Medinah Country Club in Illinois fits into the latter category of remarkable comebacks.
Team Europe was leading 10–4 on the final day, and everyone thought the tournament was over. But the US team had other plans. Led by captain Davis Love III, the Americans won 8 1/2 out of 12 points in the singles matches to complete an improbable comeback and win the Ryder Cup 14 1/2–13 1/2. The crowd was electric, serenading their beloved team with chants of “USA! USA!”
Payne Stewart’s Putt of a Lifetime (1999)
The 1999 Ryder Cup held at The Country Club in Massachusetts was a close-fought battle between the US and Europe. In the final match, Payne Stewart faced off against Colin Montgomerie with the Ryder Cup on the line.
Stewart trailed by one hole with three to play, but he never gave up. On the 18th green, Stewart sank a 15-foot putt to win the hole and the match, sparking wild celebrations from his teammates and the crowd. Stewart’s putt of a lifetime will always be a defining moment in US Ryder Cup history.
Sadly, Stewart tragically lost his life a month later in a plane crash, cementing this defining moment as one of golf’s most emotional.
The War on the Shore (1991)
The 1991 Ryder Cup held at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina was one of the most intense and dramatic tournaments in the event’s history. The US team, led by captain Dave Stockton, battled fiercely against their European counterparts in a war on the shore.
The event was anything but the calm, friendly game golf fans were familiar with. Instead, we had heated exchanges between the players, fiery speeches from the captains, and a raucous crowd that cheered on the home team. Ultimately, the US team emerged victorious, winning the Ryder Cup 14 1/2–13 1/2. The War on the Shore was a display of patriotism that will live on in the memories of golf fans forever, which is something that Zach Johnson’s US-led team cannot say.
Arnold Palmer Leads the Charge (1963)
For many reasons, the 1963 Ryder Cup held at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia, was a historic event. But one of the most memorable moments was the arrival of the legendary Arnold Palmer. Palmer, who had just won the US Open a few months earlier, was a hero to millions of Americans, and his presence at the Ryder Cup was electric. He went on to win all four matches, leading the US team to a resounding victory.
The Ryder Cup is a tournament that brings together the best golfers from Europe and the United States in a battle for glory and pride. It displays a love for a country that is practically unmatched elsewhere in sports. We may have to wait two years for another of the most patriotic moments in US Ryder Cup history, but the US will avenge its poor performance this year.