Ryder Cup 2008 At Valhalla

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By Golf Histories

The 37th Ryder Cup Matches were held September 19–21, 2008, at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

Team USA won 16½ – 11½ to end the streak of three successive victories for Team Europe.

This was Team USA’s largest margin of victory since 1981, and the first time since 1979 the Americans had held the lead after every session of play.

Team captains were Nick Faldo for Team Europe and Paul Azinger for Team USA. Faldo’s assistant was José María Olazábal, while Raymond Floyd, Dave Stockton and Olin Browne assisted Azinger.

With a champagne shower coming to a close on the balcony of the clubhouse at Valhalla Golf Club and cheers ringing in their ears, teammates Anthony Kim, Hunter Mahan and Boo Weekley charged down the stairs, champagne bottles in hand, to meet the “13th Man” as Captain Paul Azinger aptly nicknamed the adoring Louisville galleries.

“Staying on point,” as Azinger repeated throughout what became a remarkable team-building effort, a gritty, grinding 12-member USA Team – six of them rookies – toppled Europe, 16.5 to 11.5 in the 37th Ryder Cup.

All 12 members of the USA Team contributed at some point to snap a nine-year victory drought, and in the process they may have made the loudest statement about the future of American golf.

At Valhalla, the Americans finally emerged from a wasteland of having lost five of the last six meetings, including back-to-back 18.5 to 9.5 routs in 2004 and 2006, which left the golf world pondering the commitment and passion of U.S. professionals.

The U.S. won 7.5 out of a possible 12 points in the singles, led by Kim’s opening 5-and-4 conquest of Spain’s Sergio Garcia.

The rookies on the USA Team – Ben Curtis, J.B. Holmes, Kim, Mahan, Steve Stricker and Weekley – combined for a 9-4-8 record, including a 4-1-1 mark in singles.

Conversely, Europe’s vaunted triumvirate of Sergio Garcia, Open and PGA Champion Padraig Harrington, and Lee Westwood didn’t win a match all week.