Ryder Cup

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The Ryder Cup (officially the Ryder Cup Matches) is a biennial golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States. The competition is jointly administered by the PGA of America and the PGA European Tour, and is contested every two years, the venue alternating between courses in the United States and Europe. The Ryder Cup is also the name of the trophy, after the person who donated it, Samuel Ryder. The Ryder Cup is unique in the world of golf, and possibly professional sports, as despite being a high-profile event which brings in tens of million dollars in TV and sponsorship[1] the players receive no prize money and compete purely for the victory.[2]

The competition began following an exhibition match in 1926 between a team comprising American professionals against a similar one drawn from the British PGA on the East Course, Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey, UK. The first competition took place in 1927.

Early matches between the two sides were fairly even, but after the Second World War, repeated US dominance[3] led to a decision to extend the representation of the British & Irish[4] team to include continental Europe in 1979. This change was partly prompted by the success of a new generation of Spanish golfers of the time, including Seve Ballesteros and Antonio Garrido, who, in 1979, became the first Spaniards to play in the event. Since then, Team Europe has included players from Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, and Sweden.

Following this change, the event has enjoyed more competitive matches, with Europe winning eight times outright and retaining the Cup once by tieing, and with seven American wins over this period.

The venues alternate between the US and Europe. With the exception of Spain in 1997 and Ireland in 2006, all European tournaments have been held in the UK.

In recent tournaments the European team has held the upper hand, winning six out of the last eight Ryder Cups including four of the last five.

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