1969 Ryder Cup
The 18th Ryder Cup Matches were held 18–20 September 1969 at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England. The competition ended in a tie at 16 points each, when America's Jack Nicklaus conceded a missable three-foot (0.9 m) putt to Britain's Tony Jacklin at the 18th hole, in one of the most famous gestures of sportsmanship in all of sport. It was the first tie in Ryder Cup history, and the United States team retained the Cup.
|Dates||18–20 September 1969|
|Venue||Royal Birkdale Golf Club|
|United States retains the Ryder Cup|
The matches were marred by considerable acrimony and unsportsmanlike behavior by players on both sides. Britain's captain Eric Brown had instructed his players not to search for the opposition's ball if it ended up in the rough. American Ken Still, in the first-day foursomes, had deliberately and regularly stood too close to Briton Maurice Bembridge as he was putting. During one of the fourballs on the second day, both captains had to come out and calm down the warring players. This led to Nicklaus conceding Jacklin's final putt with the knowledge that the overall competition would end in a draw. On the previous hole, Jacklin sank a long eagle putt while Nicklaus missed his from 15 feet (4.5 m) and the match was squared. Jacklin had won the Open Championship two months earlier at nearby Royal Lytham & St Annes to become the first British champion in eighteen years. After holing his final putt for par, Nicklaus picked up Jacklin's ball marker and told him, "I don't think you would have missed it, but I wasn't going to give you the chance, either."
Playing in his first Ryder Cup at age 29, Nicklaus' gesture became known as "the concession" and marked the beginning of a lasting friendship between the two that has spanned nearly a half century. It was the inspiration for The Concession Golf Club in Florida near Sarasota, which was co-designed by Nicklaus and Jacklin. The two were opposing captains in the competition in 1983 and 1987. While the concession is now viewed as one of the world's greatest acts of sportmanship, US captain, Snead, was furious that the chance of outright victory had been given away.
The U.S. team had only two players with previous Ryder Cup experience, Billy Casper and Gene Littler. The team was the only one that Arnold Palmer was not a member of from his first appearance in 1961 through his final appearance in 1973.
- Day 1 — 8 foursomes (alternate shot) matches, 4 each in morning and afternoon sessions
- Day 2 — 8 four-ball (better ball) matches, 4 each in morning and afternoon sessions
- Day 3 — 16 singles matches, 8 each in morning and afternoon sessions
With a total of 32 points, 16½ points were required to win the Cup, or 16 points were needed for the current champion to retain the Cup. All matches were played to a maximum of 18 holes.
|Team Great Britain|
|Eric Brown||44||Non-playing captain|
|Christy O'Connor Snr||44||7||23||7–15–1||32.61|
This was the first Ryder Cup for Nicklaus, age 29. Despite having won his seventh major title as a professional in 1967, eligibility rules set by the PGA prevented him from competing in previous editions. He competed as a player through 1981, missing only the 1979 edition, and was the non-playing captain of the U.S. team in 1983 and 1987.
|Sam Snead||57||Non-playing captain|
|Coles/Huggett||3 & 2||Barber/Floyd|
|Gallacher/Bembridge||2 & 1||Trevino/Still|
|Jacklin/Townsend||3 & 1||Hill/Aaron|
|Huggett/Gallacher||2 & 1||Hill/Still|
|Peter Alliss||2 & 1||Lee Trevino|
|Peter Townsend||5 & 4||Dave Hill|
|Neil Coles||1 up||Tommy Aaron|
|Brian Barnes||1 up||Billy Casper|
|Christy O'Connor||5 & 4||Frank Beard|
|Maurice Bembridge||1 up||Ken Still|
|Peter Butler||1 up||Raymond Floyd|
|Tony Jacklin||4 & 3||Jack Nicklaus|
|Brian Barnes||4 & 2||Dave Hill|
|Bernard Gallacher||4 & 3||Lee Trevino|
|Maurice Bembridge||7 & 6||Miller Barber|
|Peter Butler||3 & 2||Dale Douglass|
|Neil Coles||4 & 3||Dan Sikes|
|Christy O'Connor||2 & 1||Gene Littler|
|Brian Huggett||halved||Billy Casper|
|Tony Jacklin||halved||Jack Nicklaus|
Individual player recordsEdit
Each entry refers to the Win–Loss–Half record of the player.
- Reedy, Thomas A. (14 September 1969). "Ryder Cup lures top golf pros". Reading Eagle. Pennsylvania. Associated Press. p. 59.
- Farrow, John (21 September 1969). "Jacklin gives Britain a tie for Ryder Cup". Reading Eagle. Pennsylvania. Associated Press. p. 64.
- Farrow, John (9 October 1970). "Nicklaus and Jacklin meet". Gettysburg Times. Pennsylvania. Associated Press. p. 13.
- Jacobs, Raymond (22 September 1969). "Ryder Cup climax of breath-taking excitement". Glasgow Herald. (Scotland). p. 4.
- Owen, David (30 September 2016). "Now, about that famous Ryder Cup concession". Golf Digest. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
- "Price a reminder of the games sportsmanship". Golf Today. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- Brown, Gwilym S. (29 September 1969). "A tie may be like kissing your sister..." Sports Illustrated. p. 67.
- "U.S., British golfers draw". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. Associated Press. 21 September 1969. p. 4B.
- Ryder Cup History: 1969
- Cardon, Mark (1 August 2002). "Nicklaus and Jacklin have history". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Florida. p. 6C.
- Hardisty, Matt (21 September 2018). "The Concession – September 20, 1969". rydercup.com. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
- Murray, Scott (18 September 2008). "The Joy Of Six: great Ryder Cup moments". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
- Jacobs, Raymond (18 September 1969). "Gallacher paired with Bembridge in Ryder Cup". Glasgow Herald. Scotland. p. 6.
- "2016 Ryder Cup Media Guide" (PDF). Retrieved 26 September 2015.
- "Media Guide: 1967 Ryder Cup". PGA of America. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
- "Media Guide: 1969 Ryder Cup". PGA of America. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
- "Yanks draw even with Britons, 8-8". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. 20 September 1969. p. 9.