|Dates||September 19–21, 2008|
|Venue||Valhalla Golf Club|
|United States wins the Ryder Cup|
The 37th Ryder Cup Matches were held September 19–21, 2008, in the United States at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. Team USA won 16½ - 11½ to end the streak of three successive victories for Europe. This was USA's largest margin of victory since 1981 and the first time since 1979 that the Americans had held the lead after every session of play. The team captains were Paul Azinger for the USA and Nick Faldo for Europe.
The U.S. team had been in the lead since the contest began on the Friday. Europe was two points behind going into the Sunday singles matches. They had only previously overturned a deficit once before, in 1995. USA won the majority of the first matches out and subsequently Jim Furyk defeated Miguel Ángel Jiménez 2 & 1 to win his match and win the Ryder Cup for the USA. Other matches still out on the course would see this margin of victory increase further. Following the defeat Nick Faldo was heavily criticised for his decision to "bottom load" his best players in the singles when the Americans only needed 5½ points to win which they got before they could have any effect on the overall outcome.
- 1 Television
- 2 Format
- 3 Team qualification and selection
- 4 Teams
- 5 Friday's matches
- 6 Saturday's matches
- 7 Sunday's singles matches
- 8 Individual player records
- 9 References
- 10 External links
All matches were covered live in the United States. ESPN handled Friday coverage. Mike Tirico and Andy North hosted from the 18th tower, with Curtis Strange calling holes, and on-course reporters Bill Kratzert and Judy Rankin. With Azinger, ESPN's lead analyst, captaining the U.S. team, North was moved to the booth to fill Azinger's seat. NBC Sports covered the weekend action, with Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller hosting from the 18th tower, Gary Koch and Bob Murphy calling holes, and on-course reporters Mark Rolfing, Roger Maltbie, and Dottie Pepper.
- Day 1 (Friday)—four foursomes (alternate shot) matches in the morning session and four fourball (better ball) matches in the afternoon
- Day 2 (Saturday)—four foursome matches in the morning and four fourball matches in the afternoon
- Day 3 (Sunday)—12 singles matches
With a total of 28 points available, 14½ points were required to win the cup, and 14 points for the defending champion to retain it. All matches were played over a maximum 18 holes.
For the first time since 1995, the opening matches featured foursomes. US captain Paul Azinger chose the format, hoping to give his team an early advantage in Kentucky. Foursomes was used in the first sessions of every event since 1981 until European captain Seve Ballesteros opened with better ball (fourball) in 1997 at Valderrama.
Team qualification and selection
The selection process was radically changed for 2008. The United States team consisted of:
- The top eight players on the Ryder Cup Points List
- Points gained from money earned in majors in 2007 and official PGA tour events in 2008 up to August 10 (i.e. up to and including money earned at the 2008 PGA Championship). Money earned in 2008 majors counted double and money earned in 2008 events played opposite the majors or World Golf Championships counted half. The new points system was only announced in November 2006 after the previous system had started. Under the previous system players earned points from August 27, 2006 when they finished in the top 10 in official events. Because of the late change to the qualification rules, players who had finished in the top 10 during the period from August 27 to November 5, 2006 were awarded a quarter of a point for every $1,000 earned.
- Four captain's picks
The qualification process was the same as in 2006. The European team consisted of:
- The top five players on the Ryder Cup World Points List
- The five players, not qualified above, on the Ryder Cup European Points List
- Money earned in official European Tour events from 6 September 2007 to 31 August 2008
- Two captain's picks
The final line-up for the European team was announced after the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles on August 31, 2008. Søren Hansen, Oliver Wilson and Justin Rose were the last three automatic qualifiers after successful tournaments. Nick Faldo handed wildcards to Paul Casey and Ian Poulter.
The team captains were Paul Azinger for the USA and Nick Faldo for Europe.
|Paul Azinger||48||Bradenton, Florida||Non-playing captain|
|Phil Mickelson||38||Rancho Santa Fe, California||2||2||6||25||9–12–4||44.00|
|Stewart Cink||35||Duluth, Georgia||3||11||3||12||3–5–4||41.67|
|Kenny Perry||48||Franklin, Kentucky||4||20||1||2||0–2–0||0.00|
|Jim Furyk||38||Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida||5||9||5||20||6–12–2||35.00|
|Anthony Kim||23||Dallas, Texas||6||10||0||Rookie|
|Justin Leonard||36||Dallas, Texas||7||23||2||8||0–3–5||31.25|
|Ben Curtis||31||Stow, Ohio||8||30||0||Rookie|
|Boo Weekley||35||Jay, Florida||9||35||0||Rookie|
|Steve Stricker||41||Madison, Wisconsin||10||8||0||Rookie|
|Hunter Mahan||26||Plano, Texas||13||36||0||Rookie|
|J. B. Holmes||26||Campbellsville, Kentucky||18||56||0||Rookie|
|Chad Campbell||34||Colleyville, Texas||21||57||2||6||1–3–2||33.33|
Tiger Woods was the leading player on the points list but was recovering from knee surgery and unable to compete. Captains picks are shown in yellow; the world rankings and records are at the start of the 2008 Ryder Cup.
|Nick Faldo||51||Welwyn Garden City, England||Non-playing captain|
|Pádraig Harrington||37||Dublin, Ireland||1||1||4||4||17||7–8–2||47.06|
|Sergio García||28||Borriol, Spain||2||14||5||4||20||14–4–2||75.00|
|Lee Westwood||35||Worksop, England||3||2||12||5||25||14–8–3||62.00|
|Henrik Stenson||32||Gothenburg, Sweden||4||5||7||1||3||1–1–1||50.00|
|Robert Karlsson||39||Monte Carlo, Monaco||5||3||17||1||3||0–1–2||33.33|
|Miguel Ángel Jiménez||44||Málaga, Spain||6||4||19||2||9||2–5–2||33.33|
|Graeme McDowell||29||Portrush, Northern Ireland||9||6||32||0||Rookie|
|Justin Rose||28||London, England||7||7||13||0||Rookie|
|Søren Hansen||34||Copenhagen, Denmark||13||8||42||0||Rookie|
|Oliver Wilson||28||Weybridge, England||15||9||48||0||Rookie|
|Ian Poulter||32||Milton Keynes, England||8||12||29||1||2||1–1–0||50.00|
|Paul Casey||31||Esher, England||16||18||38||2||6||3–1–2||66.67|
Captains picks are shown in yellow; the world rankings and records are at the start of the 2008 Ryder Cup.
The morning foursomes began well for Team Europe, as they took the lead in all four matches within the first hour. However, things changed by the end of the morning, with Team USA ending the session up 3–1, marking the first time since the last American win in 1999 that Team USA held the lead at the end of any Ryder Cup session.
|Stenson/Casey||3 & 2||Leonard/Mahan|
The afternoon session was almost a replay of the morning session. Team Europe led after the front nine in three of the four matches, but only won one. Team USA ended up with its largest lead after the first day since Europe was first included in the Ryder Cup in 1979.
|Poulter/Rose||4 & 2||Stricker/Curtis|
|García/Jiménez||4 & 3||Leonard/Mahan|
|Poulter/Rose||4 & 3||Cink/Campbell|
|Stenson/Wilson||2 & 1||Mickelson/Kim|
|Harrington/Karlsson||3 & 1||Furyk/Perry|
|Westwood/Hansen||2 & 1||Weekley/Holmes|
Sunday's singles matches
|Sergio García||5 & 4||Anthony Kim|
|Paul Casey||halved||Hunter Mahan|
|Robert Karlsson||5 & 3||Justin Leonard|
|Justin Rose||3 & 2||Phil Mickelson|
|Henrik Stenson||3 & 2||Kenny Perry|
|Oliver Wilson||4 & 2||Boo Weekley|
|Søren Hansen||2 & 1||J. B. Holmes|
|Miguel Ángel Jiménez||2 & 1||Jim Furyk|
|Graeme McDowell||2 & 1||Stewart Cink|
|Ian Poulter||3 & 2||Steve Stricker|
|Lee Westwood||2 & 1||Ben Curtis|
|Pádraig Harrington||2 & 1||Chad Campbell|
Individual player records
Each entry refers to the Win–Loss–Half record of the player.
|J. B. Holmes||2.5||2–0–1||1–0–0||0–0–0||1–0–1|
|Miguel Ángel Jiménez||0.5||0–2–1||0–1–0||0–0–1||0–1–0|
- "Ryder Cup 2008 will be remembered for the Americans burning passion and Faldo's desperate blundering". Daily Mail. London. September 21, 2008. Retrieved April 24, 2013.
- Praverman, Frank (September 21, 2008). "How the Ryder Cup was won". London: Times Online. Retrieved May 4, 2009.
- Ryder Cup explained
- "Azinger changes format; alternate shot first". The 2008 Ryder Cup Official Site. Archived from the original on February 9, 2008. Retrieved January 30, 2008.
- "Casey and Poulter given wildcards". BBC Sport. August 31, 2008. Retrieved May 4, 2009.
- Ferguson, Doug (September 19, 2008). "Americans charge into lead at Ryder Cup". Yahoo! Sports. Associated Press. Archived from the original on May 28, 2009. Retrieved September 19, 2008.
- Orlovac, Mark (September 19, 2008). "US surge clear as Europe struggle". BBC Sport. Retrieved May 4, 2009.
- "2014 Ryder Cup Media and Players' Guide". Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 5, 2014.