2008 Ryder Cup

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37th Ryder Cup Matches
RyderCup2008Logo.svg
Dates   September 19–21, 2008
Venue   Valhalla Golf Club
Location   Louisville, Kentucky
Captains   Paul Azinger (USA)
Nick Faldo (Europe)
United States   16½    11½   Europe
United States wins the Ryder Cup

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ValhallaGolf Club is located in United States
ValhallaGolf Club
Valhalla
Golf Club
Location in the United States

The 37th Ryder Cup Matches were held September 19–21, 2008, at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. Team USA won 16½ - 11½ to end the streak of three successive victories for Europe. This was USA's largest margin of victory since 1981 and the first time since 1979 that the Americans had held the lead after every session of play. The team captains were Paul Azinger for the USA and Nick Faldo for Europe.

USA had been in the lead since the contest began on the Friday. Europe were two points behind going into the Sunday singles matches. They had only previously overturned a deficit once before, in 1995. USA won the majority of the first matches out and subsequently Jim Furyk defeated Miguel Ángel Jiménez 2 & 1 to win his match and win the Ryder Cup for the USA.[1] Other matches still out on the course would see this margin of victory increase further. Following the defeat Nick Faldo was heavily criticised for his decision to "bottom load" his best players in the singles when the Americans only needed 5½ points to win which they got before they could have any effect on the overall outcome.

Television[edit]

All matches were covered live in the United States. ESPN handled Friday coverage. Mike Tirico and Andy North hosted from the 18th tower, with Curtis Strange calling holes, and on-course reporters Bill Kratzert and Judy Rankin. With Azinger, ESPN's lead analyst, captaining the U.S. team, North was moved to the booth to fill Azinger's seat. NBC Sports covered the weekend action, with Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller hosting from the 18th tower, Gary Koch and Bob Murphy calling holes, and on-course reporters Mark Rolfing, Roger Maltbie, and Dottie Pepper.

Format[edit]

The Ryder Cup is a match play event, with each match worth one point. The competition format used in 2008 was:

  • Day 1 (Friday)—four foursomes (alternate shot) matches in the morning session and four fourball (better ball) matches in the afternoon
  • Day 2 (Saturday)—four foursome matches in the morning and four fourball matches in the afternoon
  • Day 3 (Sunday)—12 singles matches[2]

With a total of 28 points available, 14½ points were required to win the cup, and 14 points for the defending champion to retain it. All matches were played over a maximum 18 holes.[3]

For the first time since 1995, the opening matches featured foursomes. US captain Paul Azinger chose the format, hoping to give his team an early advantage in Kentucky. Foursomes was used in the first sessions of every event since 1981 until European captain Seve Ballesteros opened with better ball (fourball) in 1997 at Valderrama.[4]

Team qualification and selection[edit]

United States United States[edit]

The selection process was radically changed for 2008. The United States team consisted of:

  • The top eight players on the Ryder Cup Points List
    • Points gained from money earned in majors in 2007 and official PGA tour events in 2008 up to August 10 (i.e. up to and including money earned at the 2008 PGA Championship). Money earned in 2008 majors counted double and money earned in 2008 events played opposite the majors or World Golf Championships counted half. The new points system was only announced in November 2006 after the previous system had started. Under the previous system players earned points from August 27, 2006 when they finished in the top 10 in official events. Because of the late change to the qualification rules, players who had finished in the top 10 during the period from August 27 to November 5, 2006 were awarded a quarter of a point for every $1,000 earned.
  • Four captain's picks

Europe Europe[edit]

The qualification process was the same as in 2006. The European team consisted of:

  • The top five players on the Ryder Cup World Points List
  • The five players, not qualified above, on the Ryder Cup European Points List
    • Money earned in official European Tour events from 6 September 2007 to 31 August 2008
  • Two captain's picks

The final line-up for the European team was announced after the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles on August 31, 2008. Søren Hansen, Oliver Wilson and Justin Rose were the last three automatic qualifiers after successful tournaments. Nick Faldo handed wildcards to Paul Casey and Ian Poulter.[5]

Teams[edit]

Captains[edit]

The team captains were Paul Azinger for the USA and Nick Faldo for Europe.

Vice-captains[edit]

The USA vice-captains were Olin Browne, Raymond Floyd and Dave Stockton.

The only European vice-captain was José María Olazábal. Paul McGinley has been announced as a vice-captain in May 2007 but had resigned in September 2007.

Players[edit]

United States Team USA
Name Age Residence Points
rank
World
ranking
Previous
Ryder Cups
Matches W–L–H Winning
percentage
Paul Azinger 48 Bradenton, Florida Non-playing captain
Phil Mickelson 38 Rancho Santa Fe, California 2 2 6 25 9–12–4 44.00
Stewart Cink 35 Duluth, Georgia 3 11 3 12 3–5–4 41.67
Kenny Perry 48 Franklin, Kentucky 4 20 1 2 0–2–0 0.00
Jim Furyk 38 Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida 5 9 5 20 6–12–2 35.00
Anthony Kim 23 Dallas, Texas 6 10 0 Rookie
Justin Leonard 36 Dallas, Texas 7 23 2 8 0–3–5 31.25
Ben Curtis 31 Stow, Ohio 8 30 0 Rookie
Boo Weekley 35 Jay, Florida 9 35 0 Rookie
Steve Stricker 41 Madison, Wisconsin 10 8 0 Rookie
Hunter Mahan 26 Plano, Texas 13 36 0 Rookie
J. B. Holmes 26 Campbellsville, Kentucky 18 56 0 Rookie
Chad Campbell 34 Colleyville, Texas 21 57 2 6 1–3–2 33.33

Tiger Woods was the leading player on the points list but was recovering from knee surgery and unable to compete. Captains picks are shown in yellow; the world rankings and records are at the start of the 2008 Ryder Cup.

Europe Team Europe
Name Age Residence Points rank
(World)
Points rank
(European)
World
ranking
Previous
Ryder Cups
Matches W–L–H Winning
percentage
England Nick Faldo 51 Welwyn Garden City, England Non-playing captain
Republic of Ireland Pádraig Harrington 37 Dublin, Ireland 1 1 4 4 17 7–8–2 47.06
Spain Sergio García 28 Borriol, Spain 2 14 5 4 20 14–4–2 75.00
England Lee Westwood 35 Worksop, England 3 2 12 5 25 14–8–3 62.00
Sweden Henrik Stenson 32 Gothenburg, Sweden 4 5 7 1 3 1–1–1 50.00
Sweden Robert Karlsson 39 Monte Carlo, Monaco 5 3 17 1 3 0–1–2 33.33
Spain Miguel Ángel Jiménez 44 Málaga, Spain 6 4 19 2 9 2–5–2 33.33
Northern Ireland Graeme McDowell 29 Portrush, Northern Ireland 9 6 32 0 Rookie
England Justin Rose 28 London, England 7 7 13 0 Rookie
Denmark Søren Hansen 34 Copenhagen, Denmark 13 8 42 0 Rookie
England Oliver Wilson 28 Weybridge, England 15 9 48 0 Rookie
England Ian Poulter 32 Milton Keynes, England 8 12 29 1 2 1–1–0 50.00
England Paul Casey 31 Esher, England 16 18 38 2 6 3–1–2 66.67

Captains picks are shown in yellow; the world rankings and records are at the start of the 2008 Ryder Cup.

Friday's matches[edit]

Morning foursomes[edit]

The morning foursomes began well for Team Europe, as they took the lead in all four matches within the first hour. However, things changed by the end of the morning, with Team USA ending the session up 3–1, marking the first time since the last American win in 1999 that Team USA held the lead at the end of any Ryder Cup session.[6]

Europe Results United States
Harrington/Karlsson halved Mickelson/Kim
Stenson/Casey United States 3 & 2 Leonard/Mahan
Rose/Poulter United States 1 up Cink/Campbell
Westwood/García halved Perry/Furyk
1 Session 3
1 Overall 3

Afternoon four-ball[edit]

The afternoon session was almost a replay of the morning session. Team Europe led after the front nine in three of the four matches, but only won one. Team USA ended up with its largest lead after the first day since Europe was first included in the Ryder Cup in 1979.[6][7]

Europe Results United States
Harrington/McDowell United States 2 up Mickelson/Kim
Poulter/Rose Europe 4 & 2 Stricker/Curtis
García/Jiménez United States 4 & 3 Leonard/Mahan
Westwood/Hansen halved Holmes/Weekley
Session
Overall

Saturday's matches[edit]

Morning foursomes[edit]

Europe Results United States
Poulter/Rose Europe 4 & 3 Cink/Campbell
Jiménez/McDowell halved Leonard/Mahan
Stenson/Wilson Europe 2 & 1 Mickelson/Kim
Harrington/Karlsson United States 3 & 1 Furyk/Perry
Session
5 Overall 7

Afternoon four-ball[edit]

Europe Results United States
Westwood/Hansen United States 2 & 1 Weekley/Holmes
García/Casey halved Curtis/Stricker
Poulter/McDowell Europe 1 up Perry/Furyk
Stenson/Karlsson halved Mickelson/Mahan
2 Session 2
7 Overall 9

Sunday's singles matches[edit]

Europe Results United States
Sergio García United States 5 & 4 Anthony Kim
Paul Casey halved Hunter Mahan
Robert Karlsson Europe 5 & 3 Justin Leonard
Justin Rose Europe 3 & 2 Phil Mickelson
Henrik Stenson United States 3 & 2 Kenny Perry
Oliver Wilson United States 4 & 2 Boo Weekley
Søren Hansen United States 2 & 1 J. B. Holmes
Miguel Ángel Jiménez United States 2 & 1 Jim Furyk
Graeme McDowell Europe 2 & 1 Stewart Cink
Ian Poulter Europe 3 & 2 Steve Stricker
Lee Westwood United States 2 & 1 Ben Curtis
Pádraig Harrington United States 2 & 1 Chad Campbell
Session
11½ Overall 16½

Individual player records[edit]

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

Source: [8]

United States[edit]

Player Points Overall Singles Foursomes Fourballs
Chad Campbell 2 2–1–0 1–0–0 1–1–0 0–0–0
Stewart Cink 1 1–2–0 0–1–0 1–1–0 0–0–0
Ben Curtis 1.5 1–1–1 1–0–0 0–0–0 0–1–1
Jim Furyk 2.5 2–1–1 1–0–0 1–0–1 0–1–0
J. B. Holmes 2.5 2–0–1 1–0–0 0–0–0 1–0–1
Anthony Kim 2.5 2–1–1 1–0–0 0–1–1 1–0–0
Justin Leonard 2.5 2–1–1 0–1–0 1–0–1 1–0–0
Hunter Mahan 3.5 2–0–3 0–0–1 1–0–1 1–0–1
Phil Mickelson 2 1–2–2 0–1–0 0–1–1 1–0–1
Kenny Perry 2.5 2–1–1 1–0–0 1–0–1 0–1–0
Steve Stricker 0.5 0–2–1 0–1–0 0–0–0 0–1–1
Boo Weekley 2.5 2–0–1 1–0–0 0–0–0 1–0–1

Europe[edit]

Player Points Overall Singles Foursomes Fourballs
Paul Casey 1 0–1–2 0–0–1 0–1–0 0–0–1
Sergio García 1 0–2–2 0–1–0 0–0–1 0–1–1
Søren Hansen 0.5 0–2–1 0–1–0 0–0–0 0–1–1
Pádraig Harrington 0.5 0–3–1 0–1–0 0–1–1 0–1–0
Miguel Ángel Jiménez 0.5 0–2–1 0–1–0 0–0–1 0–1–0
Robert Karlsson 2 1–1–2 1–0–0 0–1–1 0–0–1
Graeme McDowell 2.5 2–1–1 1–0–0 0–0–1 1–1–0
Ian Poulter 4 4–1–0 1–0–0 1–1–0 2–0–0
Justin Rose 3 3–1–0 1–0–0 1–1–0 1–0–0
Henrik Stenson 1.5 1–2–1 0–1–0 1–1–0 0–0–1
Lee Westwood 1 0–2–2 0–1–0 0–0–1 0–1–1
Oliver Wilson 1 1–1–0 0–1–0 1–0–0 0–0–0

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ryder Cup 2008 will be remembered for the Americans burning passion and Faldo's desperate blundering". Daily Mail (London). September 21, 2008. Retrieved April 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ Praverman, Frank (September 21, 2008). "How the Ryder Cup was won". London: Times Online. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  3. ^ Ryder Cup explained
  4. ^ "Azinger changes format; alternate shot first". The 2008 Ryder Cup Official Site. Archived from the original on February 9, 2008. Retrieved January 30, 2008. 
  5. ^ "Casey and Poulter given wildcards". BBC Sport. August 31, 2008. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b Ferguson, Doug, Associated Press (September 19, 2008). "Americans charge into lead at Ryder Cup". Yahoo! Sports. Archived from the original on May 28, 2009. Retrieved September 19, 2008. 
  7. ^ Orlovac, Mark (September 19, 2008). "US surge clear as Europe struggle". BBC Sport. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  8. ^ "2014 Ryder Cup Media and Players' Guide". Retrieved October 5, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°14′31″N 85°28′19″W / 38.242°N 85.472°W / 38.242; -85.472