Category - Major Events

Biggest Ryder Cup Comebacks

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Justin Leonard after his winning putt at the 1999 Ryder Cup.(Getty Images)

What separates the Ryder Cup from any other golf event in the world is its insatiable drama.
And we'll have plenty of it on the first day of October in Rome.
The 2023 U.S. Team, down big early in the first two days at Marco Simone, has clawed back to be down 10.5-6.5 to a confident European squad. The Americans will have to author the largest comeback in Ryder Cup history and capture 7.5 of the 12 available Sunday singles points if they want to retain the Ryder Cup.
It begs the question: What is the current biggest all-time comeback in Ryder Cup of all-time? It's happened twice by both squads.
Let's get into it.
The Europeans author a rousing bit of history at Medinah Country Club outside Chicago, winning 8.5 points on the final day of the 2012 Ryder Cup to win 14.5-13.5 over a U.S. Team that had built a 10-6 lead after two days play.
Team Europe's comeback was full of highlights, from Rory McIlroy arriving minutes before his tee time and winning his match versus Keegan Bradley to Martin Kaymer sinking the dagger putt to win back the Ryder Cup. It's a chapter in the event's history coined, "The Miracle at Medinah," and the more you read into the more you understand why it was such a miracle.

"I'm a big believer in fate...I have a good feeling about this."

That quote from U.S. Captain Ben Crenshaw turned out to be an all-timer. Why?
Similar to Europe in 2012, the U.S. was facing the seemingly insurmountable 10-6 deficit at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. Not comeback from being down 10-6 had ever been accomplished in the modern Ryder Cup era so the Americans had their work cut out from them.
And that "funny feeling" Crenshaw had about fate? It came in the form of the U.S. winning a shocking 8.5 points to turn the tide on Europe and ultimately capture the Ryder Cup back from Europe. The iconic moment of Justin Leonard drilling a long putt on the 17th hole to secure the clinching point is one of the most memorable in the event's history.
Yet, it all began that night before with Crenshaw's quote and how feelings morphed into reality as the biggest Ryder Cup comeback in history at that point came to life.
We'll find out tomorrow if these two comebacks will be moved down a line. The U.S. would need to win 8.5 points to get to 14 and retain the Ryder Cup, while the Europeans will only need four points to yank it back into their possession for another two years.
Buckle up!