The Spanish armada returns to the Ryder Cup

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Much of the change in the success of the Ryder Cup for Europe has been the play of several Spanish golfers, starting with the legendary Seve Ballesteros and later Jose Maria Olazabal. But it has not always been so. Now Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia have taken on this role.

When the European continent was added to the Ryder Cup in 1979, it added firepower to the European team, firepower that was lacking in what had become an unbalanced competition between the United States and the team. of Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I). From 1927 to 1979, the GB&I team won only three times and drew once.

With the emergence of quality continental European golfers like Ballesteros and Bernhard Langer in the late 1970s, Jack Nicklaus lobbied to include all of Europe in the mix thinking it would make the event more competitive. Was he ever right.

In 1979 the change was made. This Ryder Cup saw the debut of one of the greatest players of all time, the incredible Seve Ballesteros.

Ballesteros won the 1979 British Open and became one of the best players on the European Tour. The following spring, he captured his first Masters. He was in great demand.

In Europe, where appearance fees have been allowed over the years, Ballesteros and the European Tour have been in a hubbub over playing fees – legal on other tours but not on the PGA Tour – and by As a result, he did not make the 1981 Ryder Cup. But Germany’s Bernhard Langer and Spaniards Manuel Pinero and Jose Maria Canizares did.

The European Tour and Ballesteros settled their differences in 1983, and Ballesteros was back in the fold. Langer was on the squad again along with others who would make a huge difference in European Ryder Cup history, changing their path forever. It was the first year for Nick Faldo and Ian Woosnam. Europe lost by just one point at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

The next two years turned Nicklaus’ prediction into reality. The addition of Europe made the competition better, so much so that they started a winning streak.

In 1985, with Ballesteros, Langer, Faldo, Woosnam, Sandy Lyle and others, Europe claimed its first Ryder Cup victory since 1957. The next session, in 1987, Europe defeated the United States for the first time in the United States. All their other victories had taken place in England. To say it was crucial is a colossal understatement.

It was the start of the great tradition of superstar Spanish golfers, as well as others from all parts of Europe, who have become names to fear in the Ryder Cup.

Ballesteros won 22 ½ points for the Ryder Cup with many partners including Spain’s Jose Maria Olazabal. Olazabal has won 31 games and 20 ½ points, some with Ballesteros and many with today’s Spanish star Sergio Garcia.

He wears the Spanish and European flags on his shoulders

Others have made huge contributions.

Faldo played in 46 games and obtained 25 points. Colin Montgomerie played 36 games with a total of 23 ½ points. Langer has scored 42 times in the Ryder Cup and won 24 points. Woosnam played 31 games and won 16 ½ points. And there were others.

Garcia has now carried on the Ballesteros’ tradition of winning the Ryder Cup, becoming not only the Spaniard with the most points earned in the Ryder Cup, but the European with the most points earned. At the start of this week’s event, he had a record 25½ points in just 41 games.

Now he and fellow Spanish man Jon Rahm have become a star-studded duo for Europe in a battle that may not go in the direction of Europe. Either way, after Ballesteros’ death and Olazabal’s retirement, Sergio Garcia has become the Spanish spark that leads to victories no matter what. The Ryder Cup is simply an event Garcia loves.

“It motivates me in these times when I need to do something amazing to get started, and I have been fortunate enough to do this for many years, and I am so proud to be part of Team Europe”, he said after having and Rahm won their foursome match on Saturday.

Garcia and Rahm won 2 ½ of Europe’s 3 points at the halfway point on Saturday. They play the afternoon session against Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth, which means Garcia and Rahm will play all five games when the singles are added to the picture. If Garcia ever gets tired in the Ryder Cup, he never shows it. He wears the Spanish and European flags on his shoulders, and he knows it, loves her and kisses her. He is a big part of today’s Spanish Armada.

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