From the Smallest Seed Came the Ryder Cup
By Maxwell A. Quinn
It began as the seed of an idea actually, it began as the idea of a seed merchant.
His name was Samuel Ryder, a prosperous English seed merchant from St. Albans in Hertfordshire. An entrepreneur who made his fortune selling packets of seed, Ryder found himself in ill health as he approached his 50th birthday. Seeking exercise and fresh air, Ryder took up the game of golf, hiring Abe Mitchell, prominent British golfer at the time, as his personal pro.
At a luncheon following an informal challenge match in 1926 between the top players from the United States and Great Britain, Ryder agreed to provide the gold chalice that carries his name and is adorned by a likeness of his golf tutor Abe Mitchell on top.
The next year, the first official Ryder Cup matches were held at Worcester Country Club in Massachusetts a match won by the United States, 9 _ - 2 _. The matches were held every other year from that point on, interrupted during World War II.
In 1977, the Great Britain team, in an effort to provide an equal pool of talent from which to draw, expanded to include European players.
Matches moved to even years when the Ryder Cup match was cancelled following the events of 9/11/2001.
This year's Ryder Cup, held at Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield Township, outside Detroit, Michigan, again features the best of the American and European players.
The United States team, headlined by Tiger Woods, and captained by Hal Sutton, includes Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Jim Furyk, Kenny Perry, David Toms, Chad Campbell, Chris DiMarco, Fred Funk, Chris Riley, Jay Haas and Stewart Cink. The first 10 spots on the team are awarded to those golfers accumulating the highest number of Ryder Cup points during the prior two years. The remaining two spots are chosen from a field at large by the team captain. Those spots went to Haas and Cink.
The European team, captained by Bernhard Langer, consists of Paul Casey, Darren Clarke, Luke Donald, Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington, David Howell, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Thomas Levet, Paul McGinley, Colin Montgomerie, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood. Montgomerie and Donald were selected by Langer to fill out the team.
Langer and Sutton, captains of their respective teams, are well respected veterans of golf. Langer, with two Masters Championships under his belt, is known for his attention to detail. Sutton, two-time winner of the Players Championship, is a fierce competitor, determined to win.
While Langer and Sutton square off as captains of opposing teams, each wanting the coveted Ryder Cup, they have one essential thing in common. They each have a faith in Jesus Christ.
Click on their names to read further about the faith of Langer and Sutton.