Today, the Ryder Cup is golf's pre-eminent event, biennially bringing together 12-member teams from the United States and Europe for glory and pride on a three-day worldwide stage. Spanning 87 years and 40 competitions, the Ryder Cup also is among the last great professional sporting events where winning, and not prize money, is the reward.
In 2016, Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota, will serve as host, marking the State's debut of golf's most compelling event.
Europe won the 40th Ryder Cup in convincing fashion, defeating the United States 16.5-11.5 at Gleneagles in Scotland. Jamie Donaldson of Wales, one of three European rookies, clinched the Ryder Cup with a 4&3 victory over Keegan Bradley. It was Europe's third consecutive victory in the biennial matches and its fifth consecutive victory on home soil.
The competition was born in 1927, when enterprising English seed merchant Samuel Ryder commissioned the casting of a gold chalice that bears his name. The U.S. Team defeated Great Britain, 9 1/2 to 2 1/2, in the inaugural matches in Worcester, Mass. Since then, the Ryder Cup has expanded to involve the finest players of Europe. Except for a span (1939-45) during World War II and following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks upon America, the Ryder Cup has been held biennially with the U.S. and Europe alternating as host.
Click here for a complete history of the Ryder Cup.