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Ryder Cup: 10 ‘Did You Know’ Facts

In less than a week, Team USA will take on Team Europe in the highly-anticipated 2014 Ryder Cup. The famed match play tournament will be hosted at Gleneagles in Perthshire, Scotland – a recently-renovated course measuring 7,262 yards.  As we gear up for the action-packed event, here are 10 little-known facts about the Ryder Cup.

1) Oh Captain, My Captain – Captain’s Picks were introduced in 1979 – and Team Europe seems to have benefited the most. Since their introduction, European team picks have won 52% of their matches.

Scott Verplank scored Team USA's first hole-in-one at The K Club's 14th hole in 2006. Photo by PGA

Scott Verplank scored Team USA’s first hole-in-one at The K Club’s 14th hole in 2006. Photo by PGA

2) Hole-y Cow – There have been six holes-in-one during Ryder Cup matches – with only one by an American golfer, Scott Verplank.

3) Victory Chant – Northern Ireland native Rory McIlroy is loved by many – which was shown at the 2012 Ryder Cup match, when his fans wrote and sang a song dedicated to him.

4) Par For The Course – Gleneagles is also home to another golf tournament – the Johnnie Walker Championship, a regular stop on the European Tour since 1999.

Golf legend Tom Watson has 39 PGA Tour wins, tied for 11th all time. Photo by Break Par Blueprint

Team USA Captain Tom Watson has an impressive 39 PGA TOUR wins. Photo by Break Par Blueprint

5) Oldie But A Goodie – At age 65, Tom Watson is the oldest team captain to date. The record was previously held by J.H. Taylor who captained at age 62.

6) Changing The Game – The original Ryder Cup pitted the Americans against the Brits – it wasn’t until 1979 that Team Britain became Team Europe to even the playing field.

7) Veteran Cause – Four 2014 Ryder Cup players are seasoned veterans with at least five Ryder Cups under their belts – Phil Mickelson (9), Jim Furyk (8), Lee Westwood (8) and Sergio Garcia (6). Of these four, only the two Team Europe players have positive winning percentages.

8) May The Odds Be In Your Favor – Ian Poulter has the highest winning percentage of any of the Ryder Cup 2014 players with an 80 percent victory rate over four Ryder Cup appearances.

Three of the four Golf Boys will be making an appearance at the 2014 Ryder Cup. Photo by PGA

(L-R) Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Ben Crane and Hunter Mahan comprise the “Golf Boys” group. Photo by PGA

9) Band of Brothers – The infamous “Golf Boys” – golf’s hottest PGA TOUR-player boy band – have three of their four members competing in the 2014 Ryder Cup. Final member Ben Crane was left off the Team USA roster, currently sitting at No. 60 in the World Rankings.

10) Beginner’s Luck – There will be six first-timers at this year’s Ryder Cup – three for Team USA and three for Team Europe. The oldest rookie is Stephen Gallacher at age 39 (Team Europe) and the youngest is Jordan Spieth at age 21 (Team USA).



Featured image of Gleneagles courtesy of Gleneagles.

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