The Ryder Cup: Golf's Greatest Event

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9780609805626: The Ryder Cup: Golf's Greatest Event
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Grown men wept. The jubilant crowd overflowed onto the green. Fans waved huge American flags and sang The Star-Spangled Banner. What played out that Sunday afternoon on the venerable fairways of The Country Club may go down in history as the greatest victory the golf world has ever seen. In an almost unimaginable come-from-behind win, the American Ryder Cup team, whom most watchers had given up for dead, blitzed their European counterparts in a fast and furious 8 1/2 to 3 1/2 run in the singles, to clinch the Cup after two devastating consecutive losses.
        
This is a history of the Ryder Cup, 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. 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, including all the details of the U.S. team's stunning win at Brookline. In dozens of interviews, Ryder Cup veterans--such as Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Tony Jacklin, Raymond Floyd, Lee Janzen, Nick Faldo, Byron Nelson, Tom Watson, Curtis Strange, Gene Sarazen, and Ben Crenshaw--speak to the thrill, the triumph, and the heartbreak of each competition.

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Review:

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 Silverman

About the Author:

Bob Bubka has covered golf tournaments and events regionally, nationally, and internationally for over 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.

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Bob Bubka, Thomas Clavin
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