Ryder Cup: How the world looked when the US last won in Europe

Ryder Cup Usa Team 1993

The worst-kept secret in golf is out.

Zach Johnson has been named the new US Ryder Cup captain and will be charged with not only defending the trophy won by Steve Stricker’s side at Whistling Straits in 2021 but with ending 30 years of hurt for the Americans on European soil. 

You have to go all the way back to September 1993 to find the last time the US won the biennial contest on the eastern side of the Atlantic. 

• Another club cuts ties with Prince Andrew

On that occasion, Tom Watson’s men defeated a European team led by Bernard Gallacher at The Belfry, 15-13 the score.  

It was the Americans’ second successive victory in the match – following their triumph at Kiawah Island in 1991 – but remains their most recent victory in Europe.

To date, six matches have been staged in Europe since the United States’ most recent victory over here, Europe winning them all by a combined scoreline of 82.5-57.5

New skipper Johnson was only 17-years-old and still five years away from turning professional.

Indeed, as of today, 10,382 days have passed since that Ryder Cup win.

• Callaway "pauses" partnership with Mickelson

The world, obviously, looked a whole lot different back then. To give you some kind of context as to just how different, here are 11 facts about how things were when the US last won in Europe...

* * *

1. Tiger Woods was still in high school.

2. Bryson DeChambeau was ten days old.

3. Three of the 12 players who represented the US in the 2021 Ryder Cup – Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele and Scottie Scheffler – were not even born.

4. The average purse on the PGA Tour was $1,261,395 with an average first prize of $223,151.

5. The No.1 golfer on the planet was Greg Norman.

6. The reigning men’s major champions were Bernhard Langer (The Masters), Lee Janzen (US Open), Greg Norman (The Open) and Paul Azinger (US PGA).

7. John Major was the UK Prime Minister with Bill Clinton eight months into his first term as US President.

8. The No.1 film at the box office was The Fugitive.

9. The No.1 song on the UK Top 40 was Boom! Shake the Room by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.

10. Friends was still a year away from airing its first episode.

11. The Dallas Cowboys were the reigning Super Bowl champions whilst Marseille were football’s European Cup holders.

How the 1993 Ryder Cup teams lined up


Captain: Bernard Gallacher

Bernhard Langer, Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, Costantino Rocca, Barry Lane, Ian Woosnam, Peter Baker, Mark James, Sam Torrance, Joakim Haeggman*, Jose Maria Olazabal*, Seve Ballesteros*


Captain: Tom Watson

Paul Azinger, Fred Couples, Tom Kite, Lee Janzen, Corey Pavin, Payne Stewart, John Cook, Davis Love III, Chip Beck, Jim Gallagher Jnr, Ray Floyd*, Lanny Wadkins*

* denotes pick

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