|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 US 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.[deprecated source] 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.
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.
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.
The selection process was radically changed for 2008. The United States team consisted of:
The qualification process was the same as in 2006. The European team consisted of:
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 US 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|
|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|
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|