The Ryder Cup is a match play tournament that was established in 1927 and is contested every two years by Europe and the United States. The Ryder Cup is named after the English entrepreneur Samuel Ryder who originally donated the trophy. The inclusion of Europe was partly prompted by the success of a new generation of Spanish golfers, led by Seve Ballesteros and Antonio Garrido. Since 1979, Europe has won nine times outright and retained the Cup once by tying, with seven American wins over this period. Europe has won seven of the last nine matches and has not lost in Europe since 1993. Team Europe has included players from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, and Sweden.
The 39th Ryder Cup, held at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois, saw an extraordinary comeback by Europe, under captain Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain. The Europeans were down 10-4 after 14 matches, with two four-ball matches still on the course and 12 singles matches to be played the next day. Despite being down 10-6 going into the final day Europe came back to win by 14 1/2 points to 13 1/2. Out of the 12 points up for grabs on the final day Europe won 8 1/2 points with the U.S. winning only 3 1/2 points.
Martin Kaymer struck the putt (a putt almost identical in length that fellow German Bernhard Langer missed at the 1991 Ryder Cup) that retained the cup for Europe. Francesco Molinari secured the final half-point to win the Ryder Cup outright by winning the 18th hole to halve his match against Tiger Woods. Ian Poulter of the European team finished this Ryder Cup with a perfect 4-0 record. He also played an instrumental role in team morale, with emotions pouring out during each of his matches. To date out of the last 9 Ryder Cups Europe has won 7.
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