Samuel Ryder
Founder of The Ryder Cup

The Ryder Cup Trophy

How is Samuel Ryder connected with this biennial highlight on the world golfing calendar?

How did The Ryder Cup come about?

Back in 1921 two unofficial matches between professionals from Great Britain and the United States were played, both won by Britain. The first was played at Gleneagles, Perthshire, Scotland in 1921 and the second at Wentworth, England in 1926. Watching this match in the gallery was a man, SRyder.

Who was Samuel Ryder? He was an elderly English seed merchant and entrepreneur from St Albans, Hertfordshire. Having recently taken up golf, he employed Abe Mitchell as his personal tutor, who was playing with George Duncan. Together they defeated the Open Champion Jim Barnet and his partner, the great Walter Hagen. Ryder was so enthralled with the match, later over a drink, he was heard to say ‘We must do this again’ and that was how The Ryder Cup was born. Ryder donated a small gold cup at a cost of £250, no small amount in those days, topped with a small golfing figure as a standing reminder of his friend and tutor Abe Mitchell. The first Match was played in 1927 at Worcester Country Club, MA, USA and won by the USA.

Today this same Trophy, donated by the British Entrepreneur and Golf enthusiast, is handed to the winners of the so called Ryder Cup matches since 1927. In early years, this competition was played out between a team of American Golfers and players from Great Britain and Ireland. Since 1979, golfers from all European countries are eligible for selection. The Ryder Cup Matches take place over 3 days and include a total of 28 matches and are alternated between the U.S. and Europe biennially.

The following table shows how the Match winners since that first one played back in 1927..... go to Table

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