Insight from two Ryder Cup legends
Sam Torrance and Curtis Strange are legends of the Ryder Cup. With twelve Ryder Cup playing appearances between them, their story is a compelling one. Sam’s most cherished moment came in Europe’s 1985 victory at the Belfry, where he sunk the winning putt to deny the Americans for the first time in twenty-eight years, whilst Curtis Strange starred in some of America’s finest Ryder Cup victories.
A unique friendship, bound by the magic of a world class competition, Sam and Curtis’ story extends much further than just their playing days. In 2002, they found themselves going head-to-head as European and American captains at the Belfry with Sam and his European team claiming the famous trophy. Their history in the Ryder Cup has ensured a lifelong friendship and a competitive rivalry which still burns strong – producing countless Ryder Cup tales both on and off the course.
European Ryder Cup Captain, 2002
The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles was another proud moment in my career, and specifically in my association with this world-class event.
In my role as Vice-Captain to Paul McGinley, I did what I could to help Paul achieve his aim. There can be no doubt though that this was a team performance, and it is the excellence in every member of that setup, be they players, caddies or even partners or wives, that created the environment for success.
The European Team victory at Gleneagles reinforced two key lessons. Firstly, it is important to always strive and fight for success, and never, ever, give up. Secondly, it is critical to always have a sense of single-minded purpose in what you do. A team of world-class performers with a true sense of purpose is a stronger team by far.
Hazeltine in 2016 will be another intriguing episode in The Ryder Cup story, and personally, I cannot wait.
U.S. Ryder Cup Captain, 2002
I know only too well how difficult it is to compete away from home and to win The Ryder Cup. At Gleneagles, it was a true test of team spirit whilst facing competition from the best golfers in the world. This is one of the greatest sporting events and the setting was a perfect backdrop to what became another intriguing battle.
Firstly, I must offer up my congratulations to Captain McGinley and the European Team. The competition was fierce but the sense of fair play and respect between each team was exemplary.
Leading a team in the face of adversity is a difficult task and I was particularly encouraged by the performances of the US Team rookies. They certainly stepped up to the challenge. On this occasion, it was unfortunate that the US team were unsuccessful in getting hold of The Ryder Cup; but I am certain that our team will come back fighting at Hazeltine in 2016.
I am very excited to watch Team USA develop and I am absolutely certain that The 2016 Ryder Cup will be a very close contest... however, I would prefer to see a comfortable U.S. victory!