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Some Ryder Cup memories are just a notch above

The War on the Shore and the Americans' 1999 comeback at Brookline stand out among The First Call readers

Patrick Reed / Rory McIlroy — 2016 Ryder Cup
Patrick Reed, left, shakes hands with Rory McIlroy following their singles match at the 2016 Ryder Cup, which was played at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota. Reed defeated McIlroy, 1 up.

Question of the week [September 18-24]: What is your favorite Ryder Cup memory? 

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I attended all three days of the 1991 Ryder Cup on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island. We had a home on Kiawah, so it was easy to see the Ryder Cup.

My most memorable moment? The last hole, the last group, American Hale Irwin chunked his chip. Bernhard Langer had a 6-foot putt to tie and win the Cup. He missed it. The U.S. won.

The following week, Langer won the tournament he played in.

Patrick J. Below
Madison, Wisconsin

Without a doubt, the 1999 Ryder Cup at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. And Justin Leonard's winning putt on number 17. Another memory forever was Payne Stewart giving a putt on 18 to Colin Montgomerie to assure Montgomerie's 1-up victory in the final Ryder Cup match after all the ruckus on 17 after Justin's 45-foot putt, which turned out to be the winner.

I was there.

Dave Wells 
Memphis, Tennessee

My favorite Ryder Cup memory is the 1991 event in South Carolina for no other reason than it was the first Ryder Cup I paid attention to. The brand new Kiawah Island Ocean Course along with the close and fierce competition really captured my attention. From that point on the Ryder Cup became a seminal golf event that I always watch with intense interest.  

Reid Farrill
Toronto, Ontario

The 2016 singles match between Patrick Reed and Rory McIlroy from start to finish ... extraordinary stuff.

John Valukas
La Vergne, Tennessee

I will always remember the 1999 Ryder Cup won by the USA by absolutely dominating the singles competition. There were many highlights that day, but the one that stood out was Justin Leonard's 45 footer to win the hole and match against Jose Maria Olazabal. What many don't remember is that Olazabal still had a putt to tie, and he had to wait for the celebration by the U.S. team on the green to end before putting. 

U.S. captain Ben Crenshaw said at the previous day's press conference, "I just have a feeling" we are going to come back and win this thing. Most thought he was just trying to pump team up, but it turns out he was right.

I also think winning kept Crenshaw from being ridiculed for probably the ugliest shirt in history of Ryder Cup.

I don't think there will ever be a comeback any better than the U.S. in 1999.

Bob Beasley
Greensboro, North Carolina

The 1999 Ryder Cup. The way the U.S. rallied on Sunday, Justin Leonard's putt, the team's (over) reaction.

Payne Stewart's concession to Colin Montgomerie and what happened a month later [when Stewart died in a plane crash].

No one could write this.

Mark Kazich
Darien, Illinois

My favorite memory of the Ryder Cup is 2016 at Hazeltine. My son is in the superintending business and was one the many volunteers recruited to ensure smooth sailing for course preparation. His job was rolling the greens. They were instructed that if asked to not reveal the green speed, but instead to say "it's Ryder Cup speed." 

Since greens were rolled very early, in the dark actually, he was free to spectate with an inside the ropes pass and be available should an emergency occur. On number 10 green down by Hazeltine Lake he noticed Michael Jordan sitting a few feet off the green leaning against the grandstand above him. He stepped under the ropes and sat down next to Michael. They chatted for a few minutes and then Jordan asked him what he did and how he was inside the ropes. My son explained what he did and Jordan immediately asked what the greens were rolling at. "Ryder Cup speed" was the answer. "You know I'm friends with the entire team and in the team room with them," Michael said. "Yes, but it's still Ryder Cup speed," said my son.

Jordan laughed and my son asked "How about a selfie?" "Thought you'd never ask," said Jordan. Great picture and a great experience, at least if you were a U.S. supporter. 

Blaine Walker
St. Paul, Minnesota

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