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With TV ratings soaring, spectators battling for tickets, every form of media reporting on the competition, revenue surging, and most of the best players in the world fighting for berths on the teams, it is clear why the Ryder Cup Matches have become the preeminent contest in golf--and why in 1999 it will be the major international sports event.
This book offers the full story of the Ryder Cup. The players, organizers, captains, and commentators, the competitions, the great shots, the heartbreaking twists of fate, the funny and startling anecdotes, the personal feuds, the amazing displays of sportsmanship, and the very thin line between failure and triumph. All this and more are in the pages to follow.
--From the Introduction
For those with a passion for golf, the 1999 Ryder Cup will be the ultimate competition--a matchless display of talent, rivalry, and sheer nail-biting drama as America's team, captained by the fiercely competitive Ben Crenshaw, seeks to avenge their defeat in 1997--the "Trauma at Valderrama." Bob Bubka and Tom Clavin take you inside the ropes for an up close and personal look at the action and the players behind seventy-three years of the world's best golf.
Which legendary U.S. player landed in hot water for buzzing the Cup course in his private airplane? Who is the most feared Ryder Cup opponent, of whom it was once said, "He's on a different plane of existence"? Which team captain, in a tense moment, sniped, "We came here to win, not to be good guys"? Which Ryder Cup legend, now ninety-seven years old, recalls playing in the very first Ryder Cup Match? In dozens of interviews, Ryder Cup veterans--including Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Tony Jacklin, Raymond Floyd, Lee Janzen, Jose Maria Canizares, Nick Faldo, Byron Nelson, Brian Barnes, Tom Watson, Curtis Strange, Gene Sarazen, and many others--remember the thrill, the triumph, and the heartbreak of each competition.
The Ryder Cup is the definitive biography of golf's most glorious--and gentlemanly--grudge match, from its humble 1926 origin as a casual exhibition game to its preeminent status as a multimillion-dollar global sports event.
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Pitting the best American golfers against the best Europeans, the biannual Ryder Cup is one of the few sporting events for professionals where patriotism, duty, and honor override the winner's check, of which there is none. The game is head-to-head match play for individuals and pairs. The history dates to 1927, when English seed merchant Samuel Ryder donated the trophy that gave the competition its name. Pretty much every golfer of import has left his divot on its fairways since. And then there's the competition. In 1997, a heavily favored American squad led by Tiger Woods; Fred Couples; Davis Love, III; Justin Leonard; Phil Mickelson; and Mark O'Meara shockingly failed to bring the trophy back from Valderamma, Spain.
The Ryder Cup collects the event's traditions and lore, traces its rise from obscurity to importance, describes a lot of golf, replays the American "Trauma at Valderamma" in--for Americans--painful detail, and proffers a preview of the September '99 matches at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. Through interviews with Cup players and captains, Bubka and Clavin capture the intrigues and thoughts behind the preparation and strategy that go into team match-play format, like how pairings are formed among team players and the tactics of individual matchups on the final day. They also examine other team competitions, particularly the new President's Cup (Americans vs. a team of non-Europeans), and dredge up lots of individual and team Cup stats. Like the matches themselves, The Ryder Cup is designed to let you follow from start to finish, or just drop in wherever the play looks most appealing. --Jeff SilvermanAbout the Author:
Bob Bubka has covered golf tournaments and events regionally, nationally, and internationally for twenty years on television, radio, the Internet, and in print.
Tom Clavin was a contributing writer for the New York Times for twelve years and wrote regularly on golf, covering both the PGA and Senior PGA tournaments. His coverage of the 1995 U.S. Open was recognized for Best Sports Reporting by the Suburban Newspapers of America.
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