The Ryder Cup golf tournament, 87 years old this year, has had its fair share of drama and excitement.
However much of it has been in the latter years of the event between the US and Europe.
A look at the record books reveals the US’s early dominance of the competition which began in 1927 and was originally contested by the USA and Great Britain.
From 1927 to 1983 - despite the inclusion of Ireland in 1973 - there were 25 clashes and only three were won by GB; in 1929, 1933 and 1957.
The US victories included a record 23 1/2 to 8 1/2 spanking of GB in 1967, a record win by either side.
However this turned out to be the nadir of the Brit golfers’ performance. The next time out in the biennial event in 1969 they secured a 16-16 tie, which brings us to one of the top Ryder Cup moments.
The Cup came down to the final match between America legend Jack Nicklaus and Englishman Tony Jacklin, that year’s Open Champion.
It was all-square going down the last hole and after Nicklaus holed his putt, Jacklin was left with a tricky two and a half foot putt to make sure of a draw.
But rather than asking Jacklin to take the shot, Nicklaus sportingly picked up his marker, halving the match and tieing the Ryder Cup for the first time.
Nicklaus said afterwards: “I didn’t think it was in the spirit of the game to make Jacklin have a chance to miss a two-footer to lose the match in front of his fans.”
In 1979 it became Europe versus the US and after two big defeats, in 1983, the team now led by non-playing captain Tony Jacklin came within a point of victory.
Then in 1985 the shift of power began.
Going into the singles matches on the final day, Europe held a 9-7 lead.
Jacklin put all his best players into the middle of the 12 man field and his plan worked spectacularly. By the seventh match, Sam Torrance could win the Cup with victory over Andy North.
After finding the 18th green in two shots, Torrance needed only one of the three putts he was afforded from 18 feet and the Cup was finally in European hands. Jacklin drank champagne on the green and was lifted on to Torrance’s shoulders on the clubhouse roof to the delight of the singing crowd.
In order for that result not to be written off as a minor glitch, the Europe team would have to do what the Great Britain had failed to do since the competition began and beat the US on home soil.
The odds were against them. The US team was led by Jack Nicklaus and the event was taking place in his home state of Ohio, on the Muirfield Village course he designed.
However, ahead of the singles, Europe had a 10½-5½ lead.
Then the US fought back with five wins from the opening seven matches.
However the turning point was a win for Eamonn Darcy over Ben Crenshaw. Amazingly it came despite the Irish golfer having to use a one iron or wedge for putts on the last few holes after snapping his putter in two in a fit of rage as clubs aren’t allowed to be replaced during a round. Bernhard Langer’s half with Larry Nelson left the stage clear for Seve Ballesteros.
The Spaniard’s 2&1 win over Curtis Strange saw the first victory in America completed with a tearful Jacklin proclaiming it to be “the best week of his life”.
In Nick Faldo’s words, “that was when the Ryder Cup got serious”.
Very serious as it turned out as was typified in 1991 with what became known as the “War on the Shore”.
It was the year of the first Gulf War, US captain Dave Stockton played on patriotism at Kiawah Island - Corey Pavin wore a Desert Storm cap - and tempers were frayed throughout.
Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal clashed with Paul Azinger and Chip Beck over an alleged ball change, while Stockton caused controversy by retaining the injured Steve Pate in his team, then withdrawing Pate from the singles, meaning his match with David Gilford was halved.
The Cup was decided by the final singles match between Hale Irwin and Bernhard Langer. When Irwin three-putted the 17th, Langer drew level but his second to the 18th found the edge of a bunker, only for a putt from off the green to leave the German with a six-footer to retain the Cup.
In incredible tension, Langer’s putt slipped by the right of the hole, Irwin had a half and the United States won the Ryder Cup for the first time in eight years.
However the emotions aren’t always negative as shown in 2006 when one of the most unforgettable moments came on the first tee at the K Club in Ireland with the amazing reception for Darren Clarke who was playing for the first time since the death of his wife, Heather.
He was given a wildcard selection from captain Ian Woosnam and, when it was offered, Clarke accepted in accordance with the dying wish of his wife.
He turned out in the final fourball with Lee Westwood and with Westwood and Clarke’s caddie Billy Foster in tears, Clarke belted a 300-yard drive down the middle and birdied the first.
The Europeans beat Phil Mickelson and Chris DiMarco one up, and Clarke went on to win the other two matches he played, as Europe recorded another 18½-9½ win.
The last Ryder Cup in 2012 became known as the ‘Miracle of Medinha’ when the Europe team was on the ropes and seemingly on the way to defeat.
At 10-4 down on Saturday afternoon, they were at least boosted by a one-hole win for Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald over Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker. However, Ian Poulter and Justin Rose were two down on Jason Dufner and Dustin Johnson with six to play.
Then Poulter, a European talisman with 10 victories in his previous 13 matches, hit the hottest of hot putting streaks.
He birdied each of the last five holes, leading to a one-hole win, sealing it with a 10-footer in the gloom of the 18th.
“We have a pulse,” he later told his team-mates. What followed was the greatest European comeback in the history of the Cup.
Eight-and-a-half points taken from the singles might have been the Miracle of Medinah, but Europe would have been too far back had it not been for Poulter’s heroics.
Poulter said then: “You know what, these might be my majors. If they are, that’s fine. If this is it, I’m a happy man. I’ve got more pride and passion to give in the Ryder Cup than I feel to win a major.”
This year’s event is the 40th and begins on Friday at the PGA Centenary Course at the Gleneagles Hotel near Auchterarder in Perthshire, Scotland.
It will be the second time that Scotland has hosted the Ryder Cup; the competition was held at Muirfield in 1973. The team captains will be Paul McGinley for Europe and Tom Watson for the US.
The result is too close to call between two evenly matched sides. What isn’t in doubt is three days of classic sporting event and a few more memorable moments to become in golfing folklore.