1981 Ryder Cup
|Dates||18–20 September 1981|
|Venue||Walton Heath Golf Club|
|Captains||John Jacobs (Europe)
Dave Marr (USA)
|United States wins the Ryder Cup|
The 24th Ryder Cup Matches were held 18–20 September 1981 at the Walton Heath Golf Club in Walton-on-the-Hill, Surrey, England, southwest of London. The United States team won the competition by a score of 18½ to 9½ points. To date, it remains the largest margin of defeat for a European team (since 1979) at the Ryder Cup.
It was the sixth and final Ryder Cup for Jack Nicklaus as a competitor and he won all four of his matches. He had failed to make the team for first time in 1979. Bernhard Langer made his Ryder Cup debut in 1981 and was 1–2 in pairs and halved his singles match.
The Ryder Cup is a match play event, with each match worth one point. The competition format was adjusted slightly from the 1979 event, with the order of play swapped on the first two days and the third day singles matches held in a single session:
- Day 1 — 4 foursome (alternate shot) matches in a morning session and 4 four-ball (better ball) matches in an afternoon session
- Day 2 — 4 four-ball matches in a morning session and 4 foursome matches in an afternoon session
- Day 3 — 12 singles matches
With a total of 28 points, 14½ points were required to win the Cup. All matches were played to a maximum of 18 holes.
Captain: John Jacobs
Captain: Dave Marr
18 September 1981
|Lyle/James||2 & 1||Rogers/Lietzke|
|Gallacher/Smyth||3 & 2||Irwin/Floyd|
|Oosterhuis/Faldo||4 & 3||Watson/Nicklaus|
|Lyle/James||3 & 2||Crenshaw/Pate|
|Smyth/Cañizares||6 & 5||Rogers/Lietzke|
|Gallacher/Darcy||2 & 1||Irwin/Floyd|
19 September 1981
|Faldo/Torrance||7 & 5||Trevino/Pate|
|Langer/Piñero||2 & 1||Floyd/Irwin|
|Cañizares/Smyth||3 & 2||Nicklaus/Watson|
|Oosterhuis/Torrance||2 & 1||Trevino/Pate|
|Langer/Piñero||3 & 2||Nicklaus/Watson|
|Lyle/James||3 & 2||Rogers/Floyd|
|Smyth/Gallacher||3 & 2||Kite/Nelson|
Sunday's singles matches
20 September 1981
|Sam Torrance||5 & 3||Lee Trevino|
|Sandy Lyle||3 & 2||Tom Kite|
|Bernard Gallacher||halved||Bill Rogers|
|Mark James||2 up||Larry Nelson|
|Des Smyth||6 & 4||Ben Crenshaw|
|Bernhard Langer||halved||Bruce Lietzke|
|Manuel Piñero||4 & 2||Jerry Pate|
|José Maria Cañizares||1 up||Hale Irwin|
|Nick Faldo||2 & 1||Johnny Miller|
|Howard Clark||4 & 3||Tom Watson|
|Peter Oosterhuis||1 up||Raymond Floyd|
|Eamonn Darcy||5 & 3||Jack Nicklaus|
- "Nelson, U.S. clinch Ryder Cup victory". Palm Beach Post. wire services. 21 September 1981. p. D7.
- "Win puts Seve back in the big time". The Age (Melbourne). 13 Oct 1981. p. 46.
- "Captain defends Ryder Cup team". Palm Beach Post. 25 August 1981. p. D4.
- "Jacklin and Seve Axed". New Straits Times (Malaysia). 25 August 1981. p. 34.