RYDER CUP – PLAYER ERIC BROWN
Eric Brown represented Great Britain in the Ryder Cup in 1953, 1955, 1957 and 1959 and had a 4-4-0 win-loss-half record. He won all of his four singles matches but lost his four foursomes matches. Eric Captained the team in 1969 and 1971.
RYDER CUP 1969 – CAPTAIN ERIC BROWN
The 18th Ryder Cup Matches were held 18–20 September 1969 at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England.The competition ended in a draw at 16 points each, when America’s Jack Nicklaus conceded a missable three-foot putt to Britain’s Tony Jacklin at the 18th hole, in one of the most famous gestures of sportsmanship in all of sport. It was the first draw in Ryder Cup history, and the United States team retained the Cup.
Nicklaus’ picking up Jacklin’s marker was indeed a stunning finish to a tourney rife with countless controversies. Though he rescinded his edict before play began, European captain Eric Brown directed his players not to help opponents look for their golf balls in the deep rough at Royal Birkdale, where a rules dispute between two players in Friday afternoon’s fourballs nearly ended in a fistfight – both captains had to come out and calm down the warring players.
Jack Nicklaus and Bernard Gallacher both made their rookie debuts. Bernard won 2 of this 4 matches.
RYDER CUP 1971 – CAPTAIN ERIC BROWN
The 19th Ryder Cup Matches were held September 16–18, 1971, in the United States at the Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri. The U.S. team won the competition by a score of 18½ to 13½ points.
An American win restored normal order in Missouri after the drawn contest in 1969, but Eric Brown’s British team did manage to make a much bigger impression than on previous trips to America. Their score was considerably better than expected and the debut of Peter Oosterhuis gave cause for optimism as he beat Arnold Palmer in the singles.
The fourballs produced the biggest moment of controversy when Bernard Gallacher’s caddie asked Palmer what club he had used on the 17th hole. Palmer and his partner Gardiner Dickinson consulted a referee and the hole was given to the Americans because the Britons had contravened a rule governing illegal requests for advice. Bernard Gallacher lost that match but won 3 and drew 1 of his 5 matches.
RYDER CUP PLAYER – BERNARD GALLACHER
Bernard Gallacher played in the Ryder Cup in 1969, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1983 and Captained the team in 1991,1993 and 1995
RYDER CUP 1991 – CAPTAIN BERNARD GALLACHER
The 29th Ryder Cup Matches were held September 27–29, 1991, on The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, southwest of Charleston. The United States team won the competition by 14½ to 13½ points, winning back the Cup on the 18th hole of the final match
On a new and merciless links course at Kiawah Island, South Carolina, the United States and Europe engaged for three days in a competition that broke new ground in fire and pressure, in intensity and emotion – and, some would say, excess.
Kiawah Island, because of the location, it was a classic venue, because of the television (The first Ryder Cup to be televised live for its three-day entirety), because of the closeness of the match completely jump-started the Ryder Cup.
The golf itself was mesmerizing, on the canvas of the Ocean Course, a Pete Dye design where danger was everywhere.The U.S. took a 4½-3½ lead on Day 1. On Day 2, the Americans won three of the first four matches to build a 7½-4½ lead. But Europe rallied in the afternoon to make it 8-8 going into the final day. To win the Cup, and with Pate’s match getting halved without being played, the Americans would have to earn 6 of 11 available points.
David Feherty and Nick Faldo won the first two pairings for the Europeans, but Mark Calcavecchia took a big lead in the third match against Montgomerie. As Calcavecchia was marching to what looked like a sure win for the Americans — he was up five holes at one point — Pavin, Azinger, Beck, Couples and Lanny Wadkins began play, each en route to wins for the U.S. Calcavecchia eventually collapsed on the back nine, and Montgomerie halved the match. Calcavecchia was devastated, but Stockton believes he was a key to the win, having given his team energy and hope with his strong start.
There would be no decision until the final putt on the final hole, a missed 6-footer by Bernhard Langer on an autumn Sunday afternoon that gave the Americans a cherished Cup, after six years of maddening frustration.
By the time Langer’s putt slid past the right edge, halving his match with Hale Irwin and giving the U.S. the victor, there had been tension and controversy and hard feelings and tears.
RYDER CUP 1993 – CAPTAIN BERNARD GALLACHER
The 30th Ryder Cup Matches were held in England at The Belfry in Wishaw, Warwickshire, near Sutton Coldfield. The United States team won a second consecutive Ryder Cup, by a margin of 15 to 13 points.
Following the bad feeling between the two camps at Kiawah Island, the choice of mild-mannered Tom Watson as the new American captain was welcomed in 1993. He swiftly met with European skipper Bernard Gallacher and a new amiable spirit returned to the Ryder Cup.
The Europeans had a slight advantage after the opening day, claiming four-and-a-half points in the foursomes and fourballs. European advantage further increased as they claimed three of the four foursomes on the second morning, but a change of tactics altered the psyche of their opposition. Bernhard Langer and Seve Ballesteros had asked they be rested and Gallacher acquiesced with the idea of keeping them fresh for the final day’s singles. The decision backfired and Europe’s momentum ground to a halt, with them losing three of the last four fourballs.
Europe took a slender one point lead into the Sunday singles matches. But it was America who triumphed as they stormed to six wins and two halves. Rookie Davis Love III secured victory for the U.S. by defeating Costantino Rocca at the last hole, 1 up.
RYDER CUP 1995 – CAPTAIN BERNARD GALLACHER
The 31st Ryder Cup Matches were held September 22–24, 1995 at the East Course of Oak Hill Country Club in Pittsford, New York, a suburb southeast of Rochester.
Bernard Gallacher skippered an unfancied European side against a well-prepared American team at Oak Hill in New York State
The European team won the competition by a margin of 14½ to 13½ points to win back the Cup. At the time, this was only Europe’s second victory on U.S. soil, the first was eight years earlier in 1987. This was the third consecutive Ryder Cup where Bernard Gallacher captained the European side.
America lost the Ryder Cup Sunday when a simple par on the last hole by Curtis Strange, Brad Faxon or Jay Haas would have kept it. Strange made 3 straight bogies to finish against Faldo with Faldo making par from heavy rough on 18th. Officially America lost the Cup when Ireland’s Philip Walton won the last hole aganst Jay Haas.
Walton stood up with two putts for the Ryder Cup. He was so nervous he could barely take the putter away from the ball. “My legs felt like they belonged to someone else,” he said. But he tickled his putt down to within a foot of the hole. Haas conceded and the Cup was Europe’s. Bernard Gallacher ran on to the green and lifted an emotional Walton into the air. On his 11th attempt (eight as a player, three as captain), this was the first time Gallacher had been part of a winning Ryder Cup team.
Gallacher was elated at the comeback; Wadkins was so shell-shocked that he could barely speak at the closing ceremony. He was in such disbelief he accidentally pulled the wrong speech from his pocket – the one he’d written to accept victory. It was automatic pilot; it had looked a foregone conclusion.Europe had defied all reasonable logic to win by the narrowest of margins. An ageing, injured, off-form and inexperienced team had beaten a side of high-ranking Americans on their turf over a course set up to suit their games.
The 1995 Ryder Cup encapsulated what makes the event so consistently exciting – the very real possibility of the unexpected.
RYDER CUP 2014 – PLAYER STEPHEN GALLACHER
The 40th Ryder Cup matches were held 26–28 September 2014 in Scotland on the PGA Centenary Course at the Gleneagles Hotel near Auchterarder in Perthshire. This was the second Ryder Cup held in Scotland; it was previously at Muirfield in 1973. The team captains in 2014 were Paul McGinley for Europe and Tom Watson for the USA.
Stephen recorded his first win on the tour at the Dunhill Links Championship, in 2004 and finished the year ranked 15th on the Order of Merit. Stephen won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic by three strokes in Feb 2013. He held the lead going into the final round after he shot his best career round of 62 on the European Tour in the third round. In the 2014 Ryder Cup year Stephen defended his title with a one stroke victory at the 2014 Omega Dubai Desert Classic for his third European Tour victory. He is the first golfer to ever successfully defend the title.
Stephen was eminently suited to the Ryder Cup Venue; Gleneagles PGA Centenary layout having reached a play-off there at the 2013 Johnnie Walker Championship and finished sixth in the previous two years
Stephen was picked as one of the three captain’s picks by Paul McGinley for the 2014 Ryder Cup. Paul McGinley said “Stevie has been in contention since the race almost started and has been pushing hard, He has played in every event; hasn’t missed anything. Paul McGinley said the biggest part was in Italian Open “when he stood up and was counted when it mattered”. where Stephen finished one stroke and one placing away from qualifying for the Europe side automatically. He made a last-round 65 under immense pressure. “I had to dig unbelievably deep,” Stephen stated “I think if you want something badly enough, sometimes it can just happen. I just knew I had to have a big back nine. That was it. I had to do it. I almost willed myself to do it. It had been 41 years since a Ryder Cup was in Scotland. My generation probably won’t see it again back here. This was my only chance. I’m chuffed to bits that I’ve done enough.”
Stephen as a rookie was paired with the experienced Ian Poulter (who unusually for a Ryder Cup was very much out of form) in the fourballs. They came up against American rookies Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed (the only US Player to be unbeaten that week) who finished six under par for the match, gaining revenge for the previous European Ryder Cup Miracle at Medinah in 2012. Stephen then played in the Sunday singles against the vastly experienced Phil Mickelson – Stephen put up a great fight but narrowly lost on the 17th hole.
Nevertheless Stephen was part of the winning team – Europe won the 2014 competition to retain the Ryder Cup, defeating the USA by 16½ points to 11½, for their third consecutive win. Captain McGinley pointed to the instantly famous snap of Rory McIlroy and 39-year-old rookie Stephen during Sunday night’s celebrations as evidence of the bonding that underpinned the home win at Gleneagles. McGinley, who said ‘To see the photograph in the newspapers on Monday with Stevie and Rory – Rory wearing the kilt – that, to me, just summarised everything we achieved, that sense of bonding”
While McGinley’s victorious European Team woke on Monday with champagne bubbles still bursting on their tongues, Tom Watson and his American Team flew home downbeat wondering how they could lose 8 of the last 10 Ryder Cups.
Well done Stephen for achieving a life long dream of playing in the Ryder Cup and making Bathgate Golf Club proud.
It’s no exaggeration to say that The Ryder Cup has become a global phenomenon.It’s the world’s third biggest sporting event and the one golf tournament that tempts non golfers to watch the sport.
Bathgate Golf Club are extremely proud to have contributed 2 Ryder Cup captains and 3 Ryder Cup players to this fantastic event.