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The 23rd Ryder Cup Matches were held September 14–16, 1979, in the United States, at the Greenbrier Course of The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

23rd Ryder Cup Matches
DatesSeptember 14–16, 1979
VenueThe Greenbrier,
The Greenbrier Course
LocationWhite Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
Captains
United States 17 11 Europe
United States wins the Ryder Cup
← 1977
1981 →
The Greenbrier is located in the United States
The Greenbrier
The Greenbrier
Location in the United States
The Greenbrier is located in West Virginia
The Greenbrier
The Greenbrier
Location in West Virginia

It was the beginning of a new era for the Ryder Cup. For the first time, players from continental Europe took part in the Ryder Cup (specifically, Seve Ballesteros and Antonio Garrido of Spain).[1][2] The new Team Europe replaced Great Britain and Ireland as the official opposition to the United States. It was hoped that the change would help raise the profile of the competition and bring about the end of near total domination by the United States that had existed since the end of the Second World War. However the change made no real impact at the first attempt as the United States won the competition easily by a score of 17 to 11 points and led after every session.[3] Ballesteros and Garrido played together in all four team sessions and were 1–3; both lost their singles matches on Sunday. All four of Ballesteros' losses came against Larry Nelson.[4][5]

Jack Nicklaus, age 39, failed to make the team for the first time since becoming eligible in 1969. Tom Watson left the day before the competition for the birth of his first child and was replaced on the team by first alternate Mark Hayes.[6]

FormatEdit

The Ryder Cup is a match play event, with each match worth one point. The competition format was similar to the formats used from 1963 through 1975, but with fewer singles matches:

  • Day 1 — 4 four-ball (better ball) matches in a morning session and 4 foursome (alternate shot) matches in an afternoon session
  • Day 2 — 4 foursome matches in a morning session and 4 four-ball matches in an afternoon session
  • Day 3 — 12 singles matches, 6 each in morning and afternoon sessions

With a total of 28 points, 14½ points were required to win the Cup. All matches were played to a maximum of 18 holes.

TeamsEdit

  Team USA
Name Age Points
rank
Previous
Ryder Cups
Matches W–L–H Winning
percentage
Billy Casper 48 Non-playing captain
Gil Morgan 32 0 Rookie
Hubert Green 32 1 2 2–0–0 100.00
Larry Nelson 32 0 Rookie
John Mahaffey 31 0 Rookie
Tom Kite 29 0 Rookie
Lee Trevino 39 4 22 11–6–5 61.36
Hale Irwin 34 2 8 6–1–1 81.25
Lanny Wadkins 29 1 3 3–0–0 100.00
Andy Bean 26 0 Rookie
Fuzzy Zoeller 27 0 Rookie
Lee Elder 45 0 Rookie
Mark Hayes 30 0 Rookie

Mark Hayes replaced Tom Watson.[6]

  Team Europe
Name Age Points
rank
Previous
Ryder Cups
Matches W–L–H Winning
percentage
  John Jacobs 54 Non-playing captain
  Seve Ballesteros 22 1 0 Rookie
  Mark James 25 2 1 3 0–3–0 0.00
  Brian Barnes 34 3 5 20 7–12–1 37.50
  Bernard Gallacher 30 4 5 20 8–8–4 50.00
  Sandy Lyle 21 5 0 Rookie
  Ken Brown 22 6 1 1 0–1–0 0.00
  Antonio Garrido 35 7 0 Rookie
  Tony Jacklin 35 8 6 31 12–12–7 50.00
  Michael King 29 9 0 Rookie
  Nick Faldo 22 10 1 3 3–0–0 100.00
  Des Smyth 26 12 0 Rookie
  Peter Oosterhuis 31 4 21 12–6–3 64.29

The wild card selections are shown in yellow.

Friday's matchesEdit

September 14, 1979

Morning four-ballEdit

  Results  
Garrido/Ballesteros   2 & 1 Wadkins/Nelson
Brown/James   3 & 2 Trevino/Zoeller
Oosterhuis/Faldo   2 & 1 Bean/Elder
Gallacher/Barnes   2 & 1 Irwin/Mahaffey
1 Session 3
1 Overall 3

Afternoon foursomesEdit

  Results  
Brown/Smyth   7 & 6 Irwin/Kite
Ballesteros/Garrido   3 & 2 Zoeller/Green
Lyle/Jacklin halved Trevino/Morgan
Gallacher/Barnes   4 & 3 Wadkins/Nelson
Session
Overall

Saturday's matchesEdit

September 15, 1979

Morning foursomesEdit

  Results  
Jacklin/Lyle   5 & 4 Elder/Mahaffey
Faldo/Oosterhuis   6 & 5 Bean/Kite
Gallacher/Barnes   2 & 1 Zoeller/Hayes
Ballesteros/Garrido   3 & 2 Wadkins/Nelson
3 Session 1
Overall

Afternoon four-ballEdit

  Results  
Ballesteros/Garrido   5 & 4 Wadkins/Nelson
Jacklin/Lyle   1 up Irwin/Kite
Gallacher/Barnes   3 & 2 Trevino/Zoeller
Faldo/Oosterhuis   1 up Elder/Hayes
2 Session 2
Overall

Sunday's matchesEdit

September 16, 1979

Morning singlesEdit

  Results  
Bernard Gallacher   3 & 2 Lanny Wadkins
Seve Ballesteros   3 & 2 Larry Nelson
Tony Jacklin   1 up Tom Kite
Antonio Garrido   1 up Mark Hayes
Michael King   4 & 3 Andy Bean
Brian Barnes   1 up John Mahaffey
1 Session 5
Overall 13½

Afternoon singlesEdit

  Results  
Nick Faldo   3 & 2 Lee Elder
Des Smyth   5 & 3 Hale Irwin
Peter Oosterhuis   2 up Hubert Green
Ken Brown   1 up Fuzzy Zoeller
Sandy Lyle   2 & 1 Lee Trevino
Mark James halved[7] Gil Morgan
Session
11 Overall 17

Individual player recordsEdit

Each entry refers to the Win–Loss–Half record of the player.

Source: [8]

United StatesEdit

Player Points Overall Singles Foursomes Fourballs
Andy Bean 2 2–1–0 1–0–0 0–1–0 1–0–0
Lee Elder 1 1–3–0 0–1–0 0–1–0 1–1–0
Hubert Green 1 1–1–0 1–0–0 0–1–0 0–0–0
Mark Hayes 1 1–2–0 1–0–0 0–1–0 0–1–0
Hale Irwin 3 3–1–0 1–0–0 1–0–0 1–1–0
Tom Kite 3 3–1–0 1–0–0 1–1–0 1–0–0
John Mahaffey 1 1–2–0 1–0–0 0–1–0 0–1–0
Gil Morgan 1 0–0–2 0–0–1 0–0–1 0–0–0
Larry Nelson 5 5–0–0 1–0–0 2–0–0 2–0–0
Lee Trevino 2.5 2–1–1 1–0–0 0–0–1 1–1–0
Lanny Wadkins 4 4–1–0 0–1–0 2–0–0 2–0–0
Fuzzy Zoeller 1 1–4–0 0–1–0 0–2–0 1–1–0

EuropeEdit

Player Points Overall Singles Foursomes Fourballs
Seve Ballesteros 1 1–4–0 0–1–0 1–1–0 0–2–0
Brian Barnes 3 3–2–0 0–1–0 1–1–0 2–0–0
Ken Brown 1 1–2–0 1–0–0 0–1–0 0–1–0
Nick Faldo 3 3–1–0 1–0–0 1–0–0 1–1–0
Bernard Gallacher 4 4–1–0 1–0–0 1–1–0 2–0–0
Antonio Garrido 1 1–4–0 0–1–0 1–1–0 0–2–0
Tony Jacklin 1.5 1–2–1 0–1–0 1–0–1 0–1–0
Mark James 0.5 0–1–1 0–0–1 0–0–0 0–1–0
Michael King 0 0–1–0 0–1–0 0–0–0 0–0–0
Sandy Lyle 1.5 1–2–1 0–1–0 1–0–1 0–1–0
Peter Oosterhuis 2 2–2–0 0–1–0 1–0–0 1–1–0
Des Smyth 0 0–2–0 0–1–0 0–1–0 0–0–0

Controversy and falloutEdit

On their return to the United Kingdom, Mark James and Ken Brown received the highest fines in professional golf up to this point. James received a £1500 fine for "unprofessional conduct" and Brown was fined £1000 and banned from international duty for 12 months.[2]

VideoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Ryder Cup goes Continental". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. May 31, 1978. p. 26.
  2. ^ "British receive help in Ryder Cup change". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. Associated Press. May 30, 1978. p. 19.
  3. ^ Jenkins, Dan (September 24, 1979). "The U.S. rookies were rough Ryders". Sports Illustrated. p. 26.
  4. ^ "Not-so-good loser". Miami News. September 17, 1979. p. 1C.
  5. ^ "Nelson-led Yanks retain Ryder Cup". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. September 17, 1979. p. 19.
  6. ^ a b "U.S. minus Watson as Ryder Cup starts". St. Petersburg Times. wire services. September 14, 1979. p. 6C.
  7. ^ Mark James withdrew because of injury. Gil Morgan was also injured, so this match was not actually played.[1]
  8. ^ "2014 Ryder Cup Media and Players' Guide". Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 5, 2014.

External linksEdit