Cover image for The Ryder Cup : golf's greatest event
Title:
The Ryder Cup : golf's greatest event
Author:
Bubka, Bob.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Crown Publishers, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
xviii, 251 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
Conference Subject:
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780609604045
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library GV970 .B83 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Central Library GV970 .B83 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

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.


Author Notes

Tom Clavin was born in the Bronx, New York. He is a bestselling author and has worked as a newspaper and web site editor, magazine writer, TV and radio commentator, and a reporter for The New York Times. Two of his books have been New York Times best sellers, The Heart of Everything That Is and Halsey's Typhoon. Other books that have received popular and critical acclaim include The DiMaggios, Last Men Out, Gil Hodges, Roger Maris, The Last Stand of Fox Company, and his most recent book, Reckless: The Racehorse Who Became a Marine Corps Hero.Two of his books were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The biannual Ryder Cup, which will be held in September 1999 in Brookline, Massachusetts, is the most anticipated event on golf's calendar. Bubka and Clavin's overview of the tournament provides a detailed history of the match-play contest that pits the best American players against the best from Great Britain and Europe. Even those who thought they knew the ins and outs of the Ryder Cup will be caught up in the drama of "golf's most glorious grudge match." The authors, both golf journalists, begin with a re-creation of the 1997 match, in which the Europeans took the cup from the Americans for the second straight time. They then retrace their steps to the origins of the event, pausing along the way to linger over many of the exciting moments in Ryder Cup history. The prose never rises much beyond the level of a junior-high sports biography, but despite the over-the-top enthusiasm, there is enough solid information here to merit purchase wherever golf books have an audience. --Ilene Cooper


Publisher's Weekly Review

Before the Dream Team brought top-flight American basketball to the world, golfs Ryder Cup served as the most prominent stage for American pro athletes to beat up on Europe. In this straightforward history, which lends itself to frequent thumbing more than to linear reading, Bubka and Clavinboth veteran golf reporters for TV, radio and newspaperspoint out over and over that the Ryder Cup, with 700 million potential viewers, is the sports event of 1999. Well, perhaps, in this non-Olympic year and with the NBA limping through a shortened, Jordan-less season. Played every two years, the Ryder Cup pits the 12 best American swingers against their European counterparts. The Yanks dominated the tournament from 1937 to 1983 (first against the Brits and then against the entire European continent), but the Europeans have stormed back in recent years, going 4-2-1 since 1985, breathing true excitement into the event and gluing many plaid clad 40-somethings to their TV sets. While comprehensive and filled with nostalgiac memories of putts gone by, this volume reads like a tabloid sports column with a case of giantism. Its for the true golf fan, the one that shoots 36 holes in subarctic temperatures and is unhappy when darkness falls. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Excerpts

Excerpts

Chapter 1 DRAMA AT VALDERRAMA It wasn't supposed to end this way. Tiger Woods, Justin Leonard, Jim Furyk, Fred Couples, Davis Love III, Mark O'Meara, and the rest of the U.S. Ryder Cup team could only stand helplessly exposed in front of a worldwide audience as Seve Ballesteros held aloft the much-coveted gold cup, a gesture of victory in what had become golf's premier international event. The Ryder Cup isn't that big or heavy a trophy, though it is made of gold. But Seve seemed to be straining a bit, almost as if he were holding up not only the cup but the large, gray, cloud-filled sky above it. Despite his imposing strength, his arms quivered slightly. Ballesteros, the Atlas of Europe, could not hold up the Ryder Cup forever--but the wide, sparkling grin on his olive-skinned face implied that he would sure try. Surrounding him were his fellow team players, their hair pasted back or flattened on their heads by rain and their clothes disheveled from literally jumping for joy; a few were already tipsy from champagne. At that moment no amount of money could have increased their ecstasy. It was impossible not to notice the contrast between the European team and the chanting, umbrella-holding, gleeful crowd behind them--and the dour, despondent U.S. squad. The appearance of the stunned and frustrated Americans that September evening in Sotogrande was almost a mirror image of the scene at the 1995 Ryder Cup two years earlier. At Oak Hills, outside Rochester, New York, the U.S. contingent was forced to witness the European players and captain celebrate their triumph, taking back the cup the Americans had won under Tom Watson in 1993. But 1997 should have been different. The Americans were favored, even with the treacherous winds of Valderrama. They simply could not lose a Ryder Cup Match twice in a row. They fielded a team of players that was perhaps the strongest since the 1981 squad. That now-legendary team had included Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Johnny Miller, Raymond Floyd, Ben Crenshaw, Tom Watson, Larry Nelson, and Tom Kite, among others. They had not only beaten the Europeans but had humbled them 18 1/2-9 1/2 at Walton Heath in England, the margin of victory so wide that it was reasonable to believe that Europe would never take back the Ryder Cup. And the 1997 team had Kite as its captain. He was a proven winner--nineteen PGA Tour events, the U.S. Open in 1992--and no American had earned more money on tour. "The United States team assembled for the Valderrama Match was one of the strongest ever assembled," stated Neil Coles, chairman of the PGA European Tour, who had played on eight British Ryder Cup teams. That Sunday in Spain the U.S. players staged a furious, Arnold Palmer-like charge to try to wrest the Ryder Cup from Europe's grasp. It had almost been the greatest single-day comeback since the Ryder Cup Matches officially began in 1927. Still, as they watched their rival's euphoria and the start of a celebration that would last well into the warm, salt-aired night, that comeback couldn't wash the bitter taste of defeat from the Americans' mouths. They had no choice but to wait two long years for another stab at the Ryder Cup. At least this time it would be on their own turf, in Brookline, Massachusetts. In 1967 the American team captain, Ben Hogan, had introduced his U.S. team by saying that "these are the best golfers in the world." At the time this was not hyperbole but the honest truth. And up to the 1980s any U.S. Ryder Cup captain could have made the same proclamation without much argument. But in September 1997, as the shell-shocked Americans looked on--with the Battle of Brookline and the possibility of redemption an eternity away--the U.S. players knew that as far as millions of golf fans around the world were concerned, what Hogan had said in 1967 was no longer true. Part of the reason the U.S. so badly wanted to win the Ryder Cup in 1997 was that the tournament that year was receiving an unprecedented amount of media attention. If the Americans were going to avenge their loss of 1995, there was no better time to do it than when a hefty portion of the world population was watching, listening, and reading about it. What was the big deal about the Ryder Cup? After all, to some it was little more than an exhibition match, a fairly friendly outing among Americans, Englishmen, Scotsmen, Irishmen, and Spaniards, with a Swede or Italian or German thrown in. And, for goodness' sake, there wasn't even any prize money involved. These millionaire athletes were congregating every two years to scrum over a cup that, if sold, would retail for less than the round-trip airfare used to get to the Ryder Cup course. Fortunately, golf fans and the participants and officials involved knew what was at stake. Television rights had been purchased at prices that were unthinkable a decade earlier: over $4.5 million. The number of trees felled to produce coverage in newspapers and magazines probably made a big dent in the Brazilian rain forest, and passes to the competition were as valued as winning lottery tickets. Around the globe the match was referred to as the "Drama at Valderrama." Chapter 1: Ryder Cup DRAMA AT VALDERRAMA It wasn't supposed to end this way. Tiger Woods, Justin Leonard, Jim Furyk, Fred Couples, Davis Love III, Mark O'Meara, and the rest of the U.S. Ryder Cup team could only stand helplessly exposed in front of a worldwide audience as Seve Ballesteros held aloft the much-coveted gold cup, a gesture of victory in what had become golf's premier international event. The Ryder Cup isn't that big or heavy a trophy, though it is made of gold. But Seve seemed to be straining a bit, almost as if he were holding up not only the cup but the large, gray, cloud-filled sky above it. Despite his imposing strength, his arms quivered slightly. Ballesteros, the Atlas of Europe, could not hold up the Ryder Cup forever--but the wide, sparkling grin on his olive-skinned face implied that he would sure try. Surrounding him were his fellow team players, their hair pasted back or flattened on their heads by rain and their clothes disheveled from literally jumping for joy; a few were already tipsy from champagne. At that moment no amount of money could have increased their ecstasy. It was impossible not to notice the contrast between the European team and the chanting, umbrella-holding, gleeful crowd behind them--and the dour, despondent U.S. squad. The appearance of the stunned and frustrated Americans that September evening in Sotogrande was almost a mirror image of the scene at the 1995 Ryder Cup two years earlier. At Oak Hills, outside Rochester, New York, the U.S. contingent was forced to witness the European players and captain celebrate their triumph, taking back the cup the Americans had won under Tom Watson in 1993. But 1997 should have been different. The Americans were favored, even with the treacherous winds of Valderrama. They simply could not lose a Ryder Cup Match twice in a row. They fielded a team of players that was perhaps the strongest since the 1981 squad. That now-legendary team had included Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Johnny Miller, Raymond Floyd, Ben Crenshaw, Tom Watson, Larry Nelson, and Tom Kite, among others. They had not only beaten the Europeans but had humbled them 181        2-91        2 at Walton Heath in England, the margin of victory so wide that it was reasonable to believe that Europe would never take back the Ryder Cup. And the 1997 team had Kite as its captain. He was a proven winner--nineteen PGA Tour events, the U.S. Open in 1992--and no American had earned more money on tour. "The United States team assembled for the Valderrama Match was one of the strongest ever assembled," stated Neil Coles, chairman of the PGA European Tour, who had played on eight British Ryder Cup teams. That Sunday in Spain the U.S. players staged a furious, Arnold Palmer-like charge to try to wrest the Ryder Cup from Europe's grasp. It had almost been the greatest single-day comeback since the Ryder Cup Matches officially began in 1927. Still, as they watched their rival's euphoria and the start of a celebration that would last well into the warm, salt-aired night, that comeback couldn't wash the bitter taste of defeat from the Americans' mouths. They had no choice but to wait two long years for another stab at the Ryder Cup. At least this time it would be on their own turf, in Brookline, Massachusetts. In 1967 the American team captain, Ben Hogan, had introduced his U.S. team by saying that "these are the best golfers in the world." At the time this was not hyperbole but the honest truth. And up to the 1980s any U.S. Ryder Cup captain could have made the same proclamation without much argument. But in September 1997, as the shell-shocked Americans looked on--with the Battle of Brookline and the possibility of redemption an eternity away--the U.S. players knew that as far as millions of golf fans around the world were concerned, what Hogan had said in 1967 was no longer true. Part of the reason the U.S. so badly wanted to win the Ryder Cup in 1997 was that the tournament that year was receiving an unprecedented amount of media attention. If the Americans were going to avenge their loss of 1995, there was no better time to do it than when a hefty portion of the world population was watching, listening, and reading about it. What was the big deal about the Ryder Cup? After all, to some it was little more than an exhibition match, a fairly friendly outing among Americans, Englishmen, Scotsmen, Irishmen, and Spaniards, with a Swede or Italian or German thrown in. And, for goodness' sake, there wasn't even any prize money involved. These millionaire athletes were congregating every two years to scrum over a cup that, if sold, would retail for less than the round-trip airfare used to get to the Ryder Cup course. Fortunately, golf fans and the participants and officials involved knew what was at stake. Television rights had been purchased at prices that were unthinkable a decade earlier: over $4.5 million. The number of trees felled to produce coverage in newspapers and magazines probably made a big dent in the Brazilian rain forest, and passes to the competition were as valued as winning lottery tickets. Around the globe the match was referred to as the "Drama at Valderrama." Excerpted from The Ryder Cup: Golf's Greatest Event by Bob Bubka, Tom Clavin All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Jack Nicklaus
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Forewordp. xi
Introductionp. xiii
Chapter 1 The Boston Tee Partyp. 1
Chapter 2 "We Must Do This Again"p. 26
Chapter 3 The War Years: Keeping the Cup Alivep. 44
Chapter 4 "The Best Golfers in the World"p. 55
Chapter 5 Continental Comebackp. 72
Chapter 6 Drama at Valderramap. 105
Chapter 7 The Making of a Major Eventp. 130
Chapter 8 Strong Hearts, Shaking Handsp. 152
Chapter 9 Captains Courageous . . . and Crenshawp. 169
Chapter 10 Ryder Relativesp. 203
Chapter 11 Ryder Cup Recordsp. 223
Chapter 12 The Belfry . . . and Beyondp. 237
Appendixp. 245
Indexp. 257

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